Locals have been alerting scientists to its existence for years, but it was only in May that this small turtle living in western Mexico was recognized as a new species.
The “Kinosternon vogti” has a yellow spot on the tip of its nose and is more agile than its congeners. It lives in streams or rivers near the seaside town of Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, on the Mexican Pacific coast.
“It is an endemic species, unique to this site”
According to researchers, “it is an endemic species, unique to this site,” says AFP Fabio German Cupul, professor at the University of Guadalajara. Its steps are faster than those of the other tortoises and it likes to put itself in the shade of a tree to shelter from the sun. Nicknamed the “little helmet of Vallarta” because of the similarity of its shell to a helmet, it is no longer than 10 centimeters in length and fits in the palm of one hand.
“It is wider than high, unlike all the other species that exist”, emphasizes Cupul. It belongs to the genus Kinosternon, of which there are 12 other species in Mexico […]
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