The Mary River Turtle is found exclusively in the Mary River in Queensland, Australia. It varies in color and can be red, pink, brown, or black. Its head is small, and the tail is extremely long compared to its body size—growing to near the length of the shell. There are also long protrusions under the turtle’s chin called barbels. It takes 25 years for female Mary River turtles to reach maturity and 30 years for males, which is an exceptionally long time for turtles.
The turtle takes regular breaths out of the water, but it can absorb oxygen from the water as well. The oxygen enters through organs located on its tail. The turtle spends most of its life in the river, allowing algae to grow on its body. It may use the algae for camouflage. In the picture above, the algae on its head looks like hair, which has resulted in the nickname “punk rock turtle.”