DEC 02, 2019 03:52 PM PST

Do Tortoises Enjoy Being Touched by People?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Tortoises are one of nature’s most conspicuous animals – large reptiles that carry massive shells that protect their sluggish bodies from damage from larger predators. But despite popular belief, a tortoise’s shell is much more than just a hard, rock-like structure around their body, and they can actually feel it when you touch them.

A tortoise’s shell obviously isn’t as sensitive as its skin, but the animals are able to feel the tactile sensations that occur when someone pats, rubs, scratches, or taps it. This has to do with how the shell is physically attached to the tortoise’s body.

One thing that tortoises and turtles have in common is their tendency to recede into their shells when they feel threatened. In the proper care, however, most tortoises appear to enjoy being touched by their caretakers. In some cases, they extend their necks out while being touched or massaged – a sign that the animal wants to be rubbed some more.

Related: How does the Galapagos giant tortoise know when it's time to migrate?

As it would appear, these animals are a lot more open-minded to being touched than many would think.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 14, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 14, 2019
How a Venus Flytrap Works
Most people think of plants as being at the bottom of the food chain, but the Venus Flytrap defies this oversimplified way of thinking by devouring meat. W...
DEC 14, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 14, 2019
How Desert Ant Queens Establish a Colony
When a founding desert ant queen is ready to establish her own colony, the harsh environment compels her to do something that no other queen would ever dar...
DEC 14, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 14, 2019
Even Different Species of Butterflies Can Easily Share Genes
After assessing the genomes of twenty species of butterflies, scientists were surprised to find that genes flow easily between them....
DEC 14, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 14, 2019
Polar Bears Feast On Anything They Find, Even Rotting Whales
Polar bears are expert survivalists. Their noses are many times more powerful than a dog’s, and they can sniff out a potential meal from several mile...
DEC 14, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 14, 2019
How a Rattlesnake's 'Rattle' Works
Rattlesnakes are one of the most discernible snakes in the animal kingdom, not only because of their appearance, but also because of how they shake their t...
DEC 14, 2019
Neuroscience
DEC 14, 2019
Russian Cows Use VR Headsets to Increase Milk Production
Harsh weather conditions, particularly those found during winter months, are known to lead to a decrease in milk production among cows. To tackle this, Rus...
Loading Comments...