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Reptiles of the Aquarium


Reptiles of the Aquarium

October 21, 2016

Written by Imogen Farris, Public Relations Coordinator 

Happy Reptile Awareness Day! Each year on October 21, people and organizations around the world highlight these cold-blooded species. Reptiles are covered in either scales or hard scutes, which is a bony external plate, like the shell of a turtle. They are a diverse group of animals, and here at Georgia Aquarium, we are home to seven different species. Click on the highlighted name of each species to visit our Animal Guide and learn more.

African Pancake Tortoise Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone 

The African pancake tortoise has a thin, flat shell and is typically brown and yellow.  Their shells hinge differently than other turtles, allowing them to climb better.

Albino American AlligatorSouthern Company River Scout

Our American alligators are white because they have albinism, which is a very rare genetic condition that affects the production of melanin, a pigment found in skin. They are very sensitive to sunlight, and do not survive long in the wild because they lack camouflage coloration.

Green Sea Turtle – Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot

A green sea turtle can weigh anywhere between 300 to 500 pounds and can reach up to three feet in length. Unlike land turtles, sea turtles are unable to tuck their head and legs into its shell, making it vulnerable to predators.

Eastern River CooterSouthern Company River Scout
River cooters are freshwater turtles, and are identifiable by a C-shaped figure on their shell.

Ornate UromastyxAquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone

The uromastyx can be found in hot, dry, rocky environments from Egypt to northwestern Yemen.

Red-Eared SliderSouthern Company River Scout 

Red-eared sliders have a prominent red patch on the side of their heads, giving them their name. However, in rare circumstances, this patch can be yellow or not existent at all.

Yellowbelly SliderSouthern Company River Scout

The yellowbelly slider has bands of yellow streaks on its shell, as well as a yellow blotch behind the eye, which is more visible in females and younger turtles.

Come out and see all of the reptiles here at Georgia Aquarium, and help celebrate Reptile Awareness Day with us!

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