eight baby african spurred tortoises, each weighing about 25 grams, piggyback on their mother, who weighs about 80,000 grams. photos by attila balazs. see also: baby galapagos tortoise with mom (for an even larger disparity) and baby turtles (turtles swim in water. tortoises walk on land)
A little video of the prep work I’m doing on an Oligocene land tortoise from around 30myo. This great specimen of Stylemys nebrascensis was found in the White River Badlands of Pennington County, South Dakota. I’m planning a trip out there this July. Still a lot more prep on this one to go but I love the colours on the shell.
yesterday i was writing A Thing and i had to google what position tortoises sleep in, like all in their shell or not all in their shell, and it landed me on this tortoise forum website and these people were posting cute pictures of their sleeping tortoises but the website wouldn’t let me see the pictures of the cute sleeping tortoises without making an account so uhhh that’s the story of how i became a proud member of TortoiseForumDotOrg
Disney meets Lena Dunham in this illustrated humor book featuring your favorite fairy-tale characters dating and finding their way in 21st-century America
The Ugly Duckling still feels gross compared to everyone else, but now she’s got Instagram, and there’s this one filter that makes her look awesome. Cinderella swaps her glass slippers for Crocs. The Tortoise and the Hare Facebook stalk each other. Goldilocks goes gluten free. And Peter Pan finally has to grow up and get a job, or at least start paying rent.
Here are more than one hundred fairy tales, illustrated and re-imagined for today. Instead of fairy godmothers, there’s Siri. And rather than big bad wolves, there are creepy dudes on OkCupid. In our brave new world of social networking, YouTube, and texting, fairy tales can once again lead us to happily ever after”—and have us laughing all the way.
‘Such a charming observation, Stephen, ‘ he called out as he came near the tree. ‘I am sorry to have kept you so long, but it was worth it. All our calculations tally, and the chronometers were out by twenty-seven mile. We have laid down the island as exactly - my God, what is that monstrous thing?’
‘It is a tortoise, my dear. The great land-tortoise of the world: a new genus. He is unknown to science, and in comparison of him, your giants of Rodriguez and Aldabra are inconsiderable reptiles. He must weight a ton. I do not know that I have ever been so happy. I am in such spirits, Jack! How you will ever get him aboard, I cannot tell; but nothing is impossible to the Navy.’
‘Must we get him aboard?’
‘Oh, no question about it. He is to immortalise your name. This is Testudo aubreii for all eternity; when the I hero of the Nile is forgotten, Captain Aubrey will live on in his tortoise. There’s glory for you.’
‘Why, I am much obliged, Stephen, I am sure. I suppose we might parbuckle him down the beach. How did you come by him?’
‘I wandered a little way inland, looking for specimens -that box is filled with ‘em: such wealth! Enough for half a dozen monographs - and there he was in an open space, eating Ficus religiosa. I plucked some high shoots he was straining for, and he followed me down here, eating them. He is the most confiding creature, wholly without distrust. God help him and his kind when other men find out this island. See his gleaming eye! He would like another leaf. It does me good to see him. This tortoise has quite recovered me,’ he cried, putting his arm round the enormous carapace.
Never forget T. aubreii. Because Stephen decided to name his greatest discovery after his best friend.
It’s a family reunion 32 million years in the making!
The fossilized shell (and partial skeleton) in my hand is the first genus of dry land tortoise ever discovered in the United States! They existed from the late Eocene to the early Oligocene, living in subtropical regions of Europe, Asia and North America. This ~32 million year old specimen was found in South Dakota.
The living critter is an endangered Burmese Mountain Tortoise (Manouria emys), found in fragmented pockets from India to Indonesia. They grow to become the largest tortoise in mainland Asia and the fourth largest on Earth! Based on morphological and molecular studies they are the most primitive of all living tortoises and they are the only tortoise species to build an above ground nest, which is constructed out of leaf litter. The mother will actually protect her nest, doing her best to chase away predators!
These are both specimens freely on display at the Prehistoria Natural History Centre and we have every intention of breeding our mountain tortoise to assist in the longterm survival of their species.
Jonathan the Tortoise, oldest living animal (at 184) and shell star extraordinaire, received his first bath this week!
In anticipation of a royal visitor to his sanctuary on St. Helena, Vet Joe Hollins assisted Jonathan in a little sprucing up. Surgical soap and soft brushes were used to avoid injuring his shell and ensure the spa treatment was enjoyable for the royal tortoise.
‘We gave him a good scrub as we are expecting a royal visitor who is going to meet him so we want him to look his best.
'He looks so much cleaner and he seemed to enjoy the whole experience.
'Jonathan stood like a statue when I was washing him, I don’t know whether that was the vibrations he found soothing or he was thinking “at last, I’ve had my first bath!”
Seems even Jonathan enjoys a quality bum rub! We tend to think the royal visitors should be sprucing up for Jonathan but hey, any excuse for a tortoise spa day is a good one!
At 184 years old, Jonathan has lived through more history than most of us can remeber reading in school.
He currently shares his enclosure with four other giant tortoises - David, Emma, Frederika and Myrtle.
Although he has lost his sense of smell and his eyesight is fading, Jonathan is said to be in good health.
Dr Hollins, 58, now has to take his loofah to the other tortoises and some of them are dirtier than their elderly friend Jonathan.
Following the death of Harriet, a 175-year-old giant Galapagos Land tortoise, in 2005 in Australia, Jonathan has been recognised as the world’s oldest living land animal.
St Helena was chosen as the place of Emperor Napoleon’s second exile and the French dictator died there in 1821.
Keep being awesome Jonathan! A true king among shells.
I hace a turtle... I have noo idea if he's male por female... But his name's Bartolomé. He makes weird sounds when angry.
I have no idea what gender my tortoise is, I believe they are a female by how big their tail is (It’s a russian tortoise).
I usually use male pronouns for him (her), strictly because its what I have always done since I got him when I was 8, and really it doesn’t matter in tortoise land.
His name is Dump, (I used to have a dog who passed away a little bit ago named Truck).
He bops his head up and down to music, loves electronica and metal as he comes running across his cage to be closest to the music, but if you play country or slow moving music he will hide in his shell and go to the farthest corner in his cage facing away from it, its basically what I do as well so its great.