Sea Turtle Gets Hooked Up With a New 3D Printed Jaw

Rebecca OConnell

After a nasty collision with a boat's propeller, one unfortunate sea turtle lost half its jaw. But thanks to a mix of kindness and cutting-edge technology, the animal has been fitted with a brand new beak—this one made from medical-grade titanium.

The injured sea turtle was brought to Pamukkale University’s Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation center in Denizli, Turkey. There, the animal was fed by hand and rehabilitated. The caretakers realized the turtle could never go back in the wild in its condition, so they looked for an alternate solution. The center took CT scans of the animal and sent them to BTech Innovation, a Turkish company that specializes in prosthetics for humans. BTech used the scans to create a metal beak. So long as the prosthetic isn't rejected, the turtle can be released back into the sea very soon.

The rescued sea turtle is almost 100 pounds, and has been named Akut-3—the perfect name for a cyborg turtle who looks a bit like a supervillain.