|Baby Emydura macquarii. Credit: Tom Burd.|
The results, as documented in a study, now published in the journal, Nature,
The turtles stripped carp carcasses to skeletons within five days, whereas, without turtles present, the carcasses took more than 27 days - more than five times longer - to decompose. In the tanks with the turtles, ammonia levels fell and dissolved oxygen levels - which aquatic animals need to survive, recovered. Without turtles, the water progressively deteriorated and became very dirty. While crayfish, prawns, and shrimp act similarly, none are as effective as the turtles.