Three newborn Yamagame turtles may provide hints to rare biology

Three newborn Yamagame turtles may provide hints to rare biology

A newborn Ryukyu Yamagame, the first of its kind born in the past five years


August 11, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

Three Geoemyda japonica, also known as Ryukyu Yamagame turtle, were born at the Okinawa Zoo and Museum.

This is the first hatch in the past five years at the zoo.

Ryukyu Yamagame is a national monument and designated as an endangered species.

A thirty-seven-year old curator as well as keeper, Masamichi Fujine, said, “this can provide some hints for us to know its biology.”

Ryukyu Yamagame is unique because its carapace has three elevated lines and a knurled edge.

Its biology is not well-known.

There has been a number of egg-layings observed at the Okinawa Zoo and Museum this year.

As of August 1, the number of collected eggs has reached thirty-six, of which sixteen eggs are sperm eggs.

The size of young Ryukyu Yamagame is about three centimeters, but it can reach more than fifteen centimeters when fully grown.

There is no plan to make the turtles viewable to the public.

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)

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