A huge addition is coming for the patrons at The Aquarium of Niagara, located in Niagara Falls, New York. While the addition of the new exhibit is gigantic news, the reptile that will be unveiled in Upstate New York is actually the smallest in the world of its kind.

We've come out of our shells to share the latest details on the newest member of The Aquarium of Niagara, and what makes it such a special part of reptilian history.

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Upstate New York Aquarium Announces Addition of 'World's Smallest Sea Turtle'

A story from New York Upstate provided details on news shared by The Aquarium of Niagara on Wednesday afternoon. The Upstate New York aquarium announced the unveiling of a new exhibit, which will feature a Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

The turtle's claim to fame is pretty cool: it is considered to be the smallest breed of sea turtle in the world.

A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle / Unsplash (Joshua J. Cotten)
A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle / Unsplash (Joshua J. Cotten)

The 40-year old turtle is being moved up to New York from the Cayman Islands, and belongs to a species that is listed as critically endangered by NOAA Fisheries. The species was first discovered by Richard M. Kemp, and was first submitted for identification in 1906.

In recent years, however, the population has dwindled considerably, with less than 10,000 remaining anywhere on the planet.

An external view of the aquarium / Google Maps (David Murillo)
An external view of the aquarium / Google Maps (David Murillo)

Though The Aquarium of Niagara was specifically selected because of their top-notch staff and animal care standards, the aquarium is not currently capable of housing the turtle properly. Due to its endangered status and age-related fragility, the aquarium is set to begin a renovation project that will cost roughly $175,000.

The exhibit is set to open in the spring of this year, according to New York Upstate.

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A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle being cared for at New England Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital / Getty Images

The size of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle can vary, with sources like the Texas Parks & Wildlife website saying they can grow as big as 27-32 inches. On the other end of the spectrum, however, NY Upstate notes that the more common size is closer to two-feet (24 inches), if not a bit smaller.

It's an incredible honor to be entrusted with the care of one of these creatures. Based on the details that were shared about the renovation project, the folks at The Aquarium of Niagara are doing everything they can to provide this turtle with a safe environment to call home.

Then, in a few months' time, Upstate New York animal lovers will be able to see it all for themselves.

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