A couple of our contributors have connections to tortoises through the Galápagos Islands, or at least from reading about them in the news. We’d always been aware of the danger for tortoises if they were flipped on their backs, but had never given the issue much evolutionary thought to consider the variations in the animals’ shells. Now, scientists at the University of Belgrade have published a paper on the self-righting ability of Hermann’s tortoises, which live in the Mediterranean. Matt Walker writes for the BBC:
Depending on your point of view, it is one of life’s great questions.
How does a tortoise that has flipped onto its back, get up again?
It’s not a rhetorical question, and it goes beyond being a metaphorical or metaphysical query, or a subject for drunken debate.
For a tortoise it is a deadly serious matter; being…
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