How huge turtles held Earth, and small flew to space? I toldIn last articles about the general features of turtles - their anatomy, physiology and reproduction. Time to talk about the most outstanding representatives of this tribe came. At the same time I will concern not only zoology, but also literature, religion, even philosophy.
of the Turtle big, small and fancywe Will begin with
with the real turtles. The largest of them are sea, as it is unsurprising - it is always easier for giant to live in water. From turtles - contemporaries a record are held by a leathery turtle whose armor reaches two meters in length, and weight - 600 kg. Scope of her wings is even more impressive... sorry, last - about 3 meters!
But these achievements grow dim against the died-out turtle arkhelon with nearly 5 - a meter armor and weighing 5 tons. But also it had enemies - there lived this turtle in the seas of the Cretaceous of the Mesozoic Era where quite solid serpentine sea pangolins - mozazavra traded in robbery.
The size of overland turtles is more modest though they look even more impressively, than sea. Look, for example, at a galapagossky elephant turtle from her 110 - a centimetric armor and huge stolboobrazny legs, or at a giant turtle from Aldabar`s islands (an armor - 123 cm).
But also here ahead the died-out types. The largest of overland turtles is the miolaniya today. Only one its armor was 2,5 m, and together with the impressive head and a tail length reached 5 at all - a meter mark. It is interesting that the miolaniya not so - died out long ago 2000 years ago.
From fresh-water turtles leadership belongs to the grifovy turtle living in reservoirs of North America. However, it is allocated not only with the one-and-a-half-meter size, but also the menacing look. The Grifovy turtle, as well as her compatriot - a turtle kaymanovy - is quite aggressive and dangerous to those who will disturb it. Do not watch that the beak toothless, is active it it not worse, than the person nippers. However, the grifovy turtle eats not human fingers, but a small fish and catches it in very amusing way. The matter is that the turtle uvula very much reminds a pink worm. Here also the grifovy turtle lies - to herself a rod - having opened a mouth and expecting until some small fish attempts upon her bait.
Also the South American matamata - probably, one of the most fancy and ridiculous turtles has the ways of spearfishing. It has a long neck, the extended nostrils (it is so more convenient to breathe from - under thicknesses of water) and the wide “smiling“ mouth. On the head a set of outgrowths which not only perfectly mask a matamata but also attract naive small fishes.
A. Karr of “Reptile“:
“In Colombia where it is very widespread on boggy coast of the rivers, about women of one Indian tribe is told as if they are similar to a matamata. I nevertheless hope that say directly about it not directly to them!“
Even more impressive “rod“ at a long-necked turtle. Its armor is small - only 26 cm, but also the neck almost as much makes!
As for babies, here the record belongs to the South African speckled turtle whose armor of only 11 cm. Not a turtle, but some turtle!
the Turtle in foundation of the world
the Tortoise shell so admired people of antiquity with the durability and beauty that they quite often put it in the basis of the whole world. So Indians “loaded“ a world turtle with four elephants, and from above put the earth (certainly, flat).
Mohawks and gurona also consider that the land was formed when the Muskrat (or the Frog) placed part of the earth scooped from a bottom of the Preinitial ocean on a back of a turtle.
Also Indian myth about a so-called “pakhtanye of the ocean“ is known. In it it is said that gods and demons - asura decided to get from waters of the World Ocean immortality drink - an amrita. For this purpose they made the huge mixer. A whisk the turned mountain served Mer, as a verticil which the mountain was rotated - a huge dragon, and an emphasis - again - a turtle in whom god Vishnu addressed.
Chinese did not lag behind Indians also. Write that soldiers of imperial army of China carried the flag representing a turtle and a dragon that symbolized invulnerability (the turtle cannot reach a dragon, and that is it to eat).
It is very popular in China and a hybrid of a turtle and dragon under the name enrage. Encore quite often use in the Chinese architecture as a prop which holds on itself columns of imperial crypts, steles with inscriptions.
The tortoise shell served not only a symbol of durability, but also a wisdom source. So, Yu Veliky is the legendary founder of the first Chinese dynasty Xia - beheld on a tortoise shell full information on topography and the geographical nomenclature of China, and also a magic square “lo - shu“. Therefore when the emperor had to save China from a flood, he called to the aid the same a dragon and a turtle. The dragon dug ahead channels, and the Black turtle floated after Yu`s boat and carried on a back “ñàæàí“ - substance by means of which the emperor created necessary mountains and heights.
Chinese used a turtle armor and for fortune-telling - cauterized on it cracks and tried to consider destiny signs in the formed pattern.
“Shiu Jing“ (“canon of the writing“:
“If doubts on any important question are, ask the heart; ask court; ask the people; ask a yarrow and a turtle armor“ .
On a tortoise shell one more legendary emperor Foo - SI beheld basic trigramma (a combination of continuous and dash lines). These trigramma of a stavla a basis well-known “And - a jing“ - “Books of changes“ according to which guess and until now.
And here today very few people trust in the turtle bearing the world. Nevertheless she perfectly got accustomed in a remarkable satirical fantasy - Terry Pratchett`s cycle about the Flat World. There is this world, as well as it is necessary, on axiomatic elephants and a turtle by the name of Veliky A`Tuying who floats on space goodness knows where from goodness knows where. Scientists - telepathists of the Flat World tried even to read A`tuin`s thoughts to understand a universe essence, but unsuccessfully. But they managed to read thoughts of elephants that to them the back very boringly and awfully hurts...
Nevertheless turtles really visited space.
On September 21, 1968 the Soviet spacecraft “Probe - 5“ landed (more precisely, splashed down) near the Indian Ocean. When seamen from the Soviet ship tried to lift “the Probe - 5“ on the deck, they heard strange noise and blows. Having been frightened that on the device the self-destructor can be established, they right there contacted scientists of the space center. It became clear that rustled... two Central Asian turtles who were started in space together with flies - drosophilas and hrushchaka. As a result these unpretentious creations became the first living beings who made flight around the Moon.
And in 1975 turtles - astronauts established the second record among animals, having stayed onboard The Union - 20 spaceship of the whole 90 days.
On it the story about outstanding representatives of the turtle tribe is not finished. To be continued..