A few weeks ago, a large turtle emerging in the Seychelles found a young bird, killed it and swallowed it. This type of behavior, which has not yet been conducted, is described in a published study Current Biology.
She walks slowly in front of a tree (Anas deniurostris) and sits on a tree and grabs its head before swallowing it. Her adult female Seychelles giant tortoise The event took place on the afternoon of July 30, 2020, on Frogate Island in the Indian Ocean, several hundred kilometers northeast of Madagascar.
The video of the meeting, filmed by Anna Zora, vice president of island security and stability, is a little disturbing. After all, these reptiles have until now been considered plant species. Their vegetarian diets are also believed to have shaped their ecosystems. Sometimes snail shells or the bones of dead birds are ingested Goats And other turtles too. In fact, what do these giant turtles do if they add fresh meat to their diet from time to time?
Several cases have been reported, but nothing definite
Behavior really seems conscious as evidence of the tortoise’s attitude. “She looks directly at Tern and walks deliberately towards it, without a particular doubt.”Cambridge University biologist Justin Kerlach said in a statement. “It’s very different and completely different from the tortoise’s normal behavior.”.
According to the biologist, there have been reports of turtles consuming birds and other animals in the past, but so far nothing has been fully documented. So it is not always possible to tell if the tortoise killed the animal directly or if it “sat” on it and “comfortably crushed” it.
As Highlighted In fact James Gibbs, a herpetologist at New York State University and the Galapagos Conservancy, have developed an interesting relationship with these reptiles.
“Turtles sometimes stand up and stretch all the organs, so the pinches will remove the ticks.”, He explains. “Over the years I have heard some turtles fall and flatten the birds. But these were just stories, and after spending so many, many years there, I never saw it myself.
Many questions were raised
So this behavior is very rare, it is the result of an unusual combination of many situations. “For a tortoise to hunt successfully, it must be faster than its prey, which limits the possibilities.”, Justin Gerlach insists. “If the young turf had run away, it would have run away easily, but it is a species that builds nests in trees, so for that matter, land is a dangerous place.”.
Although this is rare, this behavior still raises many questions. How many turtles work this way? Is it a few or a large part of the population? And how many times? Is this a tasty variation of their menu or do they get something bigger out of it?