0889: "Turtles"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Misenus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 11:23 am UTC

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby Misenus » Sun May 15, 2011 11:25 am UTC

I have made a YouTube video inspired by this comic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImlfWxwPRcQ

Yes, that is video of the turtle. He was completely immobile for 20 min.

bigjeff5
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:59 am UTC

Re: 0889: Turtles

Postby bigjeff5 » Mon May 16, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:Tortoise VS Turtle



That's great, except that it is wrong on all points that show a difference.

First off, all tortoises are turtles, as a few real live biologists have stated already, go look up "turtle" in Wikipedia to see why.

Second, some aquatic turtles (i.e. not tortoises) live in water, yet don't have webbed feet and have highly domed shells. Many species of box turtles are great examples.

Third, large sea turtles can live in excess of 150 years, just like large land tortoises. Small tortoises may live less than 20 years, just like all small turtles.

Fourth, that nesting behavior is not true for all aquatic turtles, particularly freshwater turtles (like the box turtle mentioned above).

Fifth, aquatic turtles are found all over the world, not just Africa and America (in fact, so many live in the ocean and migrate vast distances that the idea is ludicrous).

Last, I don't really understand how turtles can be in the same family as tortoises, but not the same class, and a quick Wikipedia check shows that the link is, once again, incorrect. Testudines is in the Reptilia class, and all turtles and tortoises belong to the family Testudines.

Edit:
Even better, testudinoidea, the superfamily of which tortoises (testudinidae) are members, includes three families of aquatic turtles. Also, there are a number of non-aquatic turtles that are not tortoises, like the desert box turtle (and a great number of species of box turtle, actually), which belongs to the emydidae family, not the testudinidae family nor the testudinoidea superfamily.

In short, all tortoises are land turtles, but not all land turtles are tortoises.

The turtle depicted in the comic looks a hell of a lot like the common box turtle, which is a popular pet, and also happens to be a member of the emydidae family, not the testudinoidea (tortoise) family.

Edit2:

Again, noticed something else wrong: the nesting behavior of the Tortoise is exactly what is described for Turtle - 90-120 days in incubation, after which a completely solitary life. Tortoises never return to a burrow with their mother. As far as I can find there is no species of turtle which cares for its young.

doggitydogs
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:52 pm UTC
Location: 42.39561°, -71.13051°

Re: 0889: Turtles

Postby doggitydogs » Thu May 26, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:Tortoise VS Turtle



That's great, except that it is wrong on all points that show a difference.

First off, all tortoises are turtles, as a few real live biologists have stated already, go look up "turtle" in Wikipedia to see why.

Second, some aquatic turtles (i.e. not tortoises) live in water, yet don't have webbed feet and have highly domed shells. Many species of box turtles are great examples.

Third, large sea turtles can live in excess of 150 years, just like large land tortoises. Small tortoises may live less than 20 years, just like all small turtles.

Fourth, that nesting behavior is not true for all aquatic turtles, particularly freshwater turtles (like the box turtle mentioned above).

Fifth, aquatic turtles are found all over the world, not just Africa and America (in fact, so many live in the ocean and migrate vast distances that the idea is ludicrous).

Last, I don't really understand how turtles can be in the same family as tortoises, but not the same class, and a quick Wikipedia check shows that the link is, once again, incorrect. Testudines is in the Reptilia class, and all turtles and tortoises belong to the family Testudines.

Edit:
Even better, testudinoidea, the superfamily of which tortoises (testudinidae) are members, includes three families of aquatic turtles. Also, there are a number of non-aquatic turtles that are not tortoises, like the desert box turtle (and a great number of species of box turtle, actually), which belongs to the emydidae family, not the testudinidae family nor the testudinoidea superfamily.

In short, all tortoises are land turtles, but not all land turtles are tortoises.

The turtle depicted in the comic looks a hell of a lot like the common box turtle, which is a popular pet, and also happens to be a member of the emydidae family, not the testudinoidea (tortoise) family.

Edit2:

Again, noticed something else wrong: the nesting behavior of the Tortoise is exactly what is described for Turtle - 90-120 days in incubation, after which a completely solitary life. Tortoises never return to a burrow with their mother. As far as I can find there is no species of turtle which cares for its young.


No, no, no! The proper term lumping tortoises, turtles, and terrapins is "chelonian."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelonian

See also (though I despise the way this is phrased):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoise#U ... ortoise.22
and:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testudines ... r_terrapin

And the vast quantity of this phrase:
"Testudines, the superorder uniting turtles, tortoises, and terrapins"
They wouldn't need to be united if they were the same thing, now, would they?

EDIT: How can you be so sure that that article is wrong and not the ONE section of the ONE Wikipedia article you're using as the ultimate answer?

mhoram100
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby mhoram100 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Quick 'hi' to the haters who get so much pleasure out of hating this strip.

I own a tortoise. I don't know how aware he is of the world around him, what he thinks about the giant hand and head that periodically intrude, apparently unwelcome, into his little world. He can sleep up to nine months of the year. He can remain motionless for days at a time. He could well outlive me.

And this comic speaks to me. Because really, the sanguine acceptance imputed to the tortoise seems just about right. He's not a mammal, has no pair bonding behavioral patterns, doesn't seek company or comfort other than warmth, concealment and food. What life is to him is hard to imagine. But he's clearly capable of distress, suffering and even stress. You can see it in his behavior, however he perceives it, when he is unwell.

And it's educational. To see what a simple life can be. No sounds, no complex social instincts. Some notions of what is and isn't edible, some notions of how to hide and how to dig, fantastic skill at climbing and burrowing, a patience bordering on that of the inanimate, and yet still some capacity to express preferences, to express pleasure and displeasure.

It's really a bridge point between the life of a mammal and the cold inhumanity of being fish.

And, he's a turtle. It's simply true. He is. He may know it, on some level. But I certainly know it. And it's pleasing to imagine he has at least that little bit of self awareness.

User avatar
sarysa
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 pm UTC
Location: You're a turtle!

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby sarysa » Thu May 03, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

Sorry for the thread bump, but I've made this my credo [and avatar] and here's why.

I think Randall was just juxtaposing the complexity of the human condition and the simplicity of the turtle's condition, because we humans brought most of that complexity upon ourselves. We delude ourselves into thinking that things [such as the offscreen person's file] are important. In reality, our condition is no different than that of the turtle. We're born, we eat, drink, sleep, expel, hopefully avoid predation, reproduce, and then we die. Throughout our lives we delude ourselves about just about everything -- many of us think we're so much better than the turtle. In the end, the turtle has it figured out. We don't.

I still think about this comic when I feel I've gone too far in the wrong direction, i.e. focusing on something that doesn't truly make me happy, but maybe I'm just weird. :) Who knows what Randall was thinking.

User avatar
Sprocket
Seymour
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:04 pm UTC
Location: impaled on Beck's boney hips.
Contact:

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby Sprocket » Mon May 07, 2012 2:55 pm UTC

I am also a turtle.
an a kitty.
"She’s a free spirit, a wind-rider, she’s at one with nature, and walks with the kodama eidolons”
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Zohar wrote: Down with the hipster binary! It's a SPECTRUM!

User avatar
sarysa
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 pm UTC
Location: You're a turtle!

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby sarysa » Mon May 07, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote:I am also a turtle.
an a kitty.


I'd start a club for us turtles, but I'm about seventy years too late.
Cats may have things more figured out than turtles. They enslaved the human race millennia ago...
Last edited by sarysa on Wed May 09, 2012 3:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Mattyboy
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:36 pm UTC

Re: 0889: "Turtles"

Postby Mattyboy » Tue May 08, 2012 11:56 pm UTC

You're welcome to go around thinking "I am a human" all day, but I would expect one to get bored because doing other things is more fun... I don't think anyone would be a turtle given the choice


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 93 guests