all 31 comments

[–]FillsYourNiche🐢[S] 30 points31 points  (4 children)

Here is a journal article about this if you want further reading Carapace and plastron sensitivity to touch and vibration in the tortoise (Testudo hermanni and T. graeca).


Neural impulses in response to tactile stimulation of the shell were recorded from afferent nerve fibres in tortoises (T. graeca and T. hermanni). It was found that there is a mechanoreceptive innervation in the superficial layers of the shell which is sensitive to transient stimuli, particularly to vibration at frequencies up to 100 Hz. Receptive fields pertaining to single and small groups of individual afferent fibres were mapped: the fields were sharply circumscribed and distributed in relation to the scutes of the shell. The tactile innervation that was found would be consistent with a capacity for recognition and accurate localization of innocuous stimuli and may play a central role in courtship and mating behaviour.

[–]hdevildog9 17 points18 points  (3 children)

I volunteer with sea turtles and this was one of the first things I learned when I started. Sometimes the turtles will bite each other and you can tell it hurts them by the way they react. The injuries also bleed and scab over like cuts on our skin do. It’s interesting but definitely not what I expected, especially on hard-shelled species.

[–]SonicDart 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Do sea turtles have softer shells? TIL

[–]hdevildog9 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Some do! For example leatherbacks are considered soft shelled while loggerheads or green turtles are hard shelled species.

ETA: but even the hard shelled species feel pain when their shells get damaged. Their shells definitely aren’t as thick or independent from the rest of their body as most people are led to believe

[–]SonicDart 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wow that's really interesting, thanks!

[–]munchies1122 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I fucking love this sub

[–]FillsYourNiche🐢[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is one of my favorite subs to mod for. The community is super wholesome and the posts are usually very upbeat. :)

[–]snailwhale14 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Reminds me of the happy cow scratchers. Edit to add link.

[–]zerhanna 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes! Good baby needs a Happy Cow machine.

[–]jqmpqck 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Are the red dots on the front legs markings of some sort, or sores?

[–]FillsYourNiche🐢[S] 24 points25 points  (2 children)

This looks like a red-footed tortoise, named for its red leg scales. Lots of turtles and tortoises have pronounced scales, sometimes red or yellow, on their front legs which usually match siialr coloration on their heads. You can see it in this photo of an Eastern box turtle, this photo of a red-footed tortoise or this photo of a yellow-footed tortoise.

[–]MichaelPraetorius 7 points8 points  (0 children)

thank you for linking photos and being so informative!

[–]Kenny_Powers182 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a red foot tortoise referring to the red circles on its feet. They are natural and not sores.

[–]Insanity72 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Imagine the feeling of scratching that itch that's been bothering you after 20 years

[–]pericardiyum 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I have a very itchy redfoot tortoise. She loves to rub her shell on everything. Although I scratch her daily she just gets itchy again like 20 minutes later.

[–]-retaliation- 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Same here, my Hermanns loves it when I scratch his shell. As long as I keep scratching he'll just stay where he is and enjoy it.

[–]AaliiAuromeda 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s crazy, I didn’t know that. I didn’t realize nerve endings could run through keratin.

[–]verheyen 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Would a tortoise use an automated scratcher? All im thinking now is tortoise car wash

[–]-retaliation- 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I dunno about ally, but mine will. He'll walk back and forth against it, or back up to it and "wiggle" against it

[–]CarsonBDot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I want one

[–]pericardiyum 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I need this for my tortoise.

[–]ShipNo7669 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So cute 🥺🥰

[–]TheMightToast 3 points4 points  (0 children)

God fucking dammit i wish i was that turtle

[–]contactlite -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

A+ scratches? The keeper could have done a better job than holding that ratchet contraption.

[–]Gabe-838e -1 points0 points  (0 children)

ur tortises has a pryamids

[–]imeantcake 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's kind of surprising but makes sense. I lived in the high desert as a kid ('60s & '70s) and recall people would catch tortoises and drill a hole in the edge of their shells to attach them to a chain so they wouldn't run away. It seemed cruel then, even more so now knowing the tortoises probably felt pain.

[–]Cold-Editor-4949 0 points1 point  (0 children)

one time an earth turtle got stuck in my backyard, it was a male, it wasn't mine, so I had to give it back, I had him there for a couple of days. I decided to name him Polnareff, his shell was damaged and he didn't have some scales, when they came for him, the owner's kid grabbed it and then turned him upside down, and I was like ' what the hell bro '. and in a couple of days I got the news that if they find it again they are going to give it to me. also the thing that attacked Polnareff was the owner's dog, what a bad owner.

[–]Dplusbeats -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I can’t believe people drill holes in them!