The Burtle was discovered in 1522 on a hidden island off the coast of Madagascar called Botopia.  Sir Anthony Loma discovered it deep within the island in a cave.  It was found sleeping on a boulder.  The Burtle has an average life span of 45 years.  Scientists have measured the Burtle standing at approximately five feet tall and weighing over six hundred pounds.  It has black and white fur covering its head and each limb and has an outer green shell surrounding its body.  The Burtle is a carnivore that uses its sharp fangs to shred the meat it consumes.  It feasts mainly on fish, but is also attracted to the smell of food left by campers at various campsites.   The Burtle is found around bodies of water where it can watch over the eggs it lays every three years.

When a much smaller creature threatens the Burtle, it stands on its hind legs and roars to show its dominance.  A unique characteristic of the Burtle is that when larger creatures are near by, it is able to retract into its hard, protective shell and stay there for over 34 days.  According to scientists, the Burtle is able to stay under water for up to 12 hours without having to take a breath.   It is an adept swimmer due to its front legs having fins on them.  The Burtle is also a skilled tree climber because of the sharp claws on each of its limbs.  Every five months, the Burtle retracts into its shell and hibernates for 27 days. On January 13th, 2003, the Burtle became the national icon of Botopia.

By: Christopher Ernst

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