ENVIRONMENT
04/07/2015 02:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Take A Ride On The Back Of A Giant River Turtle

As far as adaptation goes, many turtle species have been unable to keep up with our rapidly changing planet. The giant South American river turtle is no exception, as habitat destruction has stripped the giant reptiles of historic breeding grounds.

Researchers with National Geographic released this incredible point-of-view video shot from the back of one of the animals, also called Arrau turtles, as she interacts with her young.

Populations of river turtles have suffered due to habitat loss and poaching. One researcher in the video says there are fewer than 600 animals left in a group that once numbered upwards of 10,000. The species is now listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Beaches are protected by armed guard before the nesting season, during the nesting season and afterwards until the females have migrated with their young," Richard Vogt, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at the National Institute of Amazonian Research, says in the clip.

Take a look above.

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