This is the incredible turtle with “horns” growing out of its eyelids which has become a tourist attraction in Japan as zoo directors believe it is the only animal of its kind in the world.
The Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii) was donated to the iZoo facility in the town of Kawazu in the Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan on 1st July by a man who had caught it in the city of Fuji in the summer of 2019 and kept it at home since, according to local newspaper Mainichi.
The turtle has horn-like growths protruding from both of its eyelids and iZoo director Tsuyoshi Shirawa is quoted in Mainichi as saying he had “never seen or a turtle with horns” adding he believes it is “the world’s only one of its kind”.
The man who donated it wanted more people to see it and to find out the cause of its ‘horns’ and it is now on display in the zoo.
X-ray analysis of the turtle showed the horns had seemingly grown from a mutation in the skin cuticle, with further genetic and pathological analysis planned, according to Mainichi, the oldest daily newspaper in Japan.
The female turtle, believed to be around 10 years old, is 16 centimetres (6 inches) long and weighs 670 grams (1.5 lbs). It is being kept with males in the zoo in the hope it could breed, according to Mainichi.
The iZoo is specialised in reptiles and amphibians.
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