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Western Swamp Turtle: Evolutionary oddity is now under threat

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A western swamp turtle wearing an algae coat

Gerald Kuchling

The western swamp turtle, an Australian species that occasionally wears a coat of algae, is one of many evolutionarily unique animals facing a disproportionately high threat from human activity, including climate change.

In a study that analysed more than 30,000 species of birds, mammals and reptiles, Gopal Murali at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and his colleagues mapped the global hotspots that were home to the most evolutionarily unique and geographically isolated species, including the western swamp turtle (Pseudemydura umbrina …

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