It's Endangered Species Day!
Published May 15, 2015
In honor of Endangered Species Day, we’d like to highlight a number of endangered animals we treasure here at the National Aquarium:
Green Sea Turtle
Unlike other turtle species, the green turtle did not get its name from its shell. Rather, its name originated from the color of its skin. Green turtles can be found in a number of tropical and subtropical oceans. These animals are characterized by their vegetarian diets, feeding on algae and plants.
Green turtles are known for their fascinating reproduction process, which involves a time-consuming migration to the beaches where mothers lay 100-200 eggs. After arrival, the eggs are buried by the mother and abandoned. When the babies hatch, they must navigate their way to the ocean. Unfortunately, many young die during this process.
Classified as an endangered species, population numbers have declined due to a variety of threats, including hunting, unintentional killing due to irresponsible fishing practices, destruction of habitat, and boating accidents By far, humans are this species most threatening predator.
Known for its usual saw-like snout, the largetooth sawfish has 14 to 23 large rostral teeth. Sawfish are related to the shark and ray families and can measure up to 22 feet in length! These interesting creatures are most often found in freshwater bodies, such as rivers and streams.
Although they have few natural predators, all seven types of sawfish are classified as “critically endangered” by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Due to low population numbers, these animals are also protected under the US Endangered Species Act. A sawfish has not been found in US waters in over 50 years.
Want to help us support the conservation of these amazing species? Click here.