My tortoise ... hates, loves, unhappy, lonely... some part of it's life.

drew54

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It's no wonder a tortoise is born a sociopath. Their mom burys them in the ground and takes off...no wonder they love almost everyone but another tortoise...
When tiny humans are born they are born sociopathic and narcissistic. Survival instinct is all that is known until the brain develops enough for the baby to learn empathy from the mother. Natural basic emotions begin to become present also. Basic emotions and gestures are universal which suggests that basic emotions and gestures are innate. Pretty interesting. I would love to see videos of everyone's tortoise interacting with them.
 

Cathie G

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When tiny humans are born they are born sociopathic and narcissistic. Survival instinct is all that is known until the brain develops enough for the baby to learn empathy from the mother. Natural basic emotions begin to become present also. Basic emotions and gestures are universal which suggests that basic emotions and gestures are innate. Pretty interesting. I would love to see videos of everyone's tortoise interacting with them.
I think humans never understand anything until they actually experience it themselves. I'm guilty of that but I hope to become a better person without having to learn thru experience. It hurts. I am trying to learn how to do this internet stuff and post pictures and videos. I promise I will soon.
 

Cathie G

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Reptiles are capable of seeking comfort and they do in various ways mostly through biological needs. Food, shelter, heat, etc.

The instance of the hippo and the aldabra might be rare occurrence with tortoises but there have been many instances of this in a lot of reptiles. There was a story out many years ago about this guys bearded dragon befriended a mouse. The guy put the mouse in with the lizard thinking it was going to eat it and the lizard never did. Instead the mouse would stick beside the beardie or perched on its head. Their interactions were pretty interesting and the lizard never showed any signs of aggression towards the mouse in any way.

To be honest this behavior reminds me of I believe is the trap door spider. The spider will employee a mouse to lure food to the to the spider and in return the mouse can eat instead of being eaten.

The tortoise and lizard may have in fact made friends with the mammals as many seem to do with their owners or its simply a business relation. They both are very possible, but many would argue that is purely business. Simply because reptiles are territorial and not known to just socialize with other animals or even members of their species that doesn't result in aggression.

You might have also seen the video of the sulcata flipping the other sulcata over on its feet. Although, we don't get to see what happened before hand we can only speculate that the tortoise was either actually helping the other tortoise or it was an act of aggression. We don't really know because we don't have all the details of what happened before and after. I bring this up because many people are quick to assume that it's compassion, but I'm not so quick to think so. Not saying that reptiles aren't capable of compassion, but there isn't any defining evidence of such behavior.

I do believe that any species of animal can be taught a number of things from behaviors to emotions to some degree captive or wild. The problem is finding an effective teaching method tat the animal can learn to understand. Most behaviorists opt for conditioning through positive and negative reinforcement as seen in dogs, dolphins, hyenas, birds, etc.

There was a guy who try to train a sulcata hatchling using conditioning methods to modify and teach behavior. Was he successful? For the most part he was. Behaviour is often more easily modified and taught than teaching emotion and feeling. Now, mind you the behavior he had taught the hatchling wss merely to hit a button to get a reward. If I can find that source again I'll post it on here.

I know this didn't answer your questions with an absolute answer, but hopefully it gives you a better understanding. There is a lot of mixed views on the matter and I feel I have presented what I've learned objectively.

I hope this helps.
No wonder the guy didn't actually gain the animal's trust. You have to be sincere with the animal and then they will give you the gift of their trust. I guess they don't like being a guinea pig. Do u blame them?
 

drew54

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No wonder the guy didn't actually gain the animal's trust. You have to be sincere with the animal and then they will give you the gift of their trust. I guess they don't like being a guinea pig. Do u blame them?
No wonder the guy didn't actually gain the animal's trust. You have to be sincere with the animal and then they will give you the gift of their trust. I guess they don't like being a guinea pig. Do u blame them?
let's say that you recreated the experiment. Your relationship to the subject is your own hatchling. Your level of care is top notch and you're very caring for your tiny tort. Do you think you would have better results than let's say a person who want emotionally connected not cared for the tiny hatchling?
Your statement about trust has me curious.
 

Cathie G

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let's say that you recreated the experiment. Your relationship to the subject is your own hatchling. Your level of care is top notch and you're very caring for your tiny tort. Do you think you would have better results than let's say a person who want emotionally connected not cared for the tiny hatchling?
Your statement about trust has me curious.
This is a hard question to answer because I've had so many strangely beautiful encounters of the animal kind.lol... I just have always enjoyed watching animals be themselves. I can type some examples. I had moved into the home I presently live in. In the early morning, as I was heading to work, I had to walk through the back yard to my van. Every morning there was a wild rabbit waiting for me by my van. I couldn't see him and I was looking. Then he would take off running and brush his body across me. If he wanted he could have hurt me. I didn't feed or raise him so what was that? I was only years old. My mom, 3 siblings, and I were out picking blackberries in the woods and got our buckets full. When we were walking home we had to cross over a ditch next to the road. I'm a really small person so I didn't jump the ditch. I walked on the grasses through the ditch. Well...I stepped on a probably 8 foot mommy black snake. All she did was raise her head and part of her body and look at me. I would have bit me. I lived and worked in a wildlife sanctuary in southwest Florida. I always thought I wanted a turtle. Then I met my first wild gopher tortoise. She loved apple slices and I would hand feed her a few once in awhile. One day I was giving her some slices and she was so eager for the apples she almost bit me. She pulled her head back to keep from biting me. So I'm asking, what was that? She probably didn't want to pollute herself but she also interacted with me. I did fall in love with tortoises. I've had many encounters over 65 years with many different animals. My life in the sanctuary was really interesting but my favorite was the tortoise.
 

drew54

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Your story is very interesting. I think all creatures want some sort of interaction. That doesn't mean they all want to sit and have a cup of tea with you and discuss world events. The instance with the rabbit I think many people have ran into animals who have done similar things. I know I have. Depending on where you want to go with the explanation that will most definitely impact the answer. oBviously)

The snake not biting you is very interesting also. Maybe you didn't really step on it. Maybe it was just luck. I have no idea. Coyote Peterson might say it has to do with respect. One thing I do know is that there are so many variables to every situation it's hard to know for sure. Maybe if you stepped on the snake again it will bite you. Who Knows.
 

TammyJ

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I think humans never understand anything until they actually experience it themselves. I'm guilty of that but I hope to become a better person without having to learn thru experience. It hurts. I am trying to learn how to do this internet stuff and post pictures and videos. I promise I will soon.
Hmmm. I feel the same way. and I think I may be a closet narcissistic sociopath.....Oh dear.
 

Cathie G

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Your story is very interesting. I think all creatures want some sort of interaction. That doesn't mean they all want to sit and have a cup of tea with you and discuss world events. The instance with the rabbit I think many people have ran into animals who have done similar things. I know I have. Depending on where you want to go with the explanation that will most definitely impact the answer. oBviously)

The snake not biting you is very interesting also. Maybe you didn't really step on it. Maybe it was just luck. I have no idea. Coyote Peterson might say it has to do with respect. One thing I do know is that there are so many variables to every situation it's hard to know for sure. Maybe if you stepped on the snake again it will bite you. Who Knows.
Yes that's so true...but I did step on her because I felt her body move under my foot. As I got older I've learned to watch my feet while walking in their habitat. I think mommy black snakes are an essential part of our environment. I certainly wouldn't want to hurt her by stepping on her again. People kill them simply because they are afraid of snakes but they keep rats, mice, and even poisonous snakes under control. Like I said I would have bit me if I was her but she didn't.
 

drew54

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I had a similar experience. My cousin was driving my brother and I around on his three wheeler and went right into a yellow mustard field. We hit a bees nest or something and he and my brother were stung over 30 times each. I wasnt stung at all not even once. Which was a remarkable outcome because I'm highly allergic and I most likely would've died within minutes.
 

Cheryl Hills

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I have had an experience with a rattle snake years ago. I worked with mentally challenged people. We were at camp and I noticed one of my girls hitting something with a stick. When I went over it was a rattle snake. I got between her and the snake which put it about a foot away from me. As I turned to see what it was doing, the snake was going the other way. Good for both of us!
 

drew54

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I have had an experience with a rattle snake years ago. I worked with mentally challenged people. We were at camp and I noticed one of my girls hitting something with a stick. When I went over it was a rattle snake. I got between her and the snake which put it about a foot away from me. As I turned to see what it was doing, the snake was going the other way. Good for both of us!
Seems like the three of us got very lucky.
 

Cathie G

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Seems like the three of us got very lucky.
I think we are blessed. I've had more experiences then that one. I'm sure most people that actually love animals have had similar things happen to them. Isn't it wonderful. But I'm not saying to trust an animal because in the right circumstances stuff can go south real quick...
 

elizabeth marie

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A great thread . .i often wonder if my tort even likes me . .he looks so annoyed a lot of the time . . But . . If my son is looking after Torty he doesn't eat and hardly moves around his run . I also notice if I leave the garden he goes in to a corner when I come back he resumes his wanders, do I make him feel more secure ? .about his memory and intelligence. .the year before last I left the garden gate open . .Torty was on the loose for 2 hours . .ever after his bid for freedom. .as soon as anyone goes out the gate Torty rushes over to check if it's been left open again . .hmm clever yes ? Does he like me ? I do wonder is he trying to bite me or. .just keen for his good grub anyway i am blind to his faults. Just devoted and dedicated :0)
 

Cathie G

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I have had an experience with a rattle snake years ago. I worked with mentally challenged people. We were at camp and I noticed one of my girls hitting something with a stick. When I went over it was a rattle snake. I got between her and the snake which put it about a foot away from me. As I turned to see what it was doing, the snake was going the other way. Good for both of us!
I just now found this post from you...Elizabeth Marie is so right about this thread. It's interesting what can go on with animals.
 

pawsplus

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I don't know if this thread is dead by this point or not? But I thought I would add to it. I guess I feel that when we do not know for sure, we owe animals the favor of not making assumptions either way. And we don't know. We really have no idea what reptiles can think or feel. Some studies give us indications one way or another, but without being in their heads, we don't really know. So it's important to neither follow Descartes and assume they are mere machines, nor to follow our human hearts and make them human. They are neither, but somewhere in between--and it is unlikely that any of us will ever be sure where they fall on the spectrum. :)

My tortoise, who has known me since she was a hatchling (she is now 22 years old) clearly is more comfortable with me than with anyone else. My pet sitter, who plays up to her to get her to like her, always comments on that. And I can give Beasley a meal of her favorite foods, but unless I leave her alone she will come to me instead for head rubs and shell scratches. She chooses me over her favorite foods. That means something. I do NOT know what it means. But I mark it with interest.

Re: food: The fact is that love in all species is based in food. At the most basic level, you love your mother because she kept you alive by feeding you. There is a reason why food gifts and holidays based around food are so popular. There is a reason why most first dates involve a dinner out. So the fact that a tortoise bonds to you, in whatever degree she is able, because you are the food provider, does not automatically eliminate the possibility of some sort of affection.

As the initial poster said, wild tortoises are known to hang around certain trees at certain times of the year--sometimes in huge numbers--as they wait for the fruit to fall. Perhaps, in their tortoise brains and hearts, they have affection for that tree, just as, perhaps, my tortoise does for me. Perhaps.

I definitely agree that assuming that any animal--even a dog--thinks or loves as we do does them no favors. A good example is the assumption that dogs show "guilt" when they have a mistake in the house. It's not guilt--it's submission b/c in the past the owner has freaked out in a similar situation, and not acknowledging that damages the animal and the relationship. Making those assumptions about tortoises also does them no favors. But swinging the other way may be equally unfair.

I try to just keep my mind open and watch Beasley's behavior with interest. The important factor is to remember that we are all just naturalists, observing the little chunk of nature living in our houses or our yards. And good naturalists observe and record, interpreting where possible but avoiding the pitfall of human narcissism -- making everyone else like us. :)
 

Cathie G

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I don't know if this thread is dead by this point or not? But I thought I would add to it. I guess I feel that when we do not know for sure, we owe animals the favor of not making assumptions either way. And we don't know. We really have no idea what reptiles can think or feel. Some studies give us indications one way or another, but without being in their heads, we don't really know. So it's important to neither follow Descartes and assume they are mere machines, nor to follow our human hearts and make them human. They are neither, but somewhere in between--and it is unlikely that any of us will ever be sure where they fall on the spectrum. :)

My tortoise, who has known me since she was a hatchling (she is now 22 years old) clearly is more comfortable with me than with anyone else. My pet sitter, who plays up to her to get her to like her, always comments on that. And I can give Beasley a meal of her favorite foods, but unless I leave her alone she will come to me instead for head rubs and shell scratches. She chooses me over her favorite foods. That means something. I do NOT know what it means. But I mark it with interest.

Re: food: The fact is that love in all species is based in food. At the most basic level, you love your mother because she kept you alive by feeding you. There is a reason why food gifts and holidays based around food are so popular. There is a reason why most first dates involve a dinner out. So the fact that a tortoise bonds to you, in whatever degree she is able, because you are the food provider, does not automatically eliminate the possibility of some sort of affection.

As the initial poster said, wild tortoises are known to hang around certain trees at certain times of the year--sometimes in huge numbers--as they wait for the fruit to fall. Perhaps, in their tortoise brains and hearts, they have affection for that tree, just as, perhaps, my tortoise does for me. Perhaps.

I definitely agree that assuming that any animal--even a dog--thinks or loves as we do does them no favors. A good example is the assumption that dogs show "guilt" when they have a mistake in the house. It's not guilt--it's submission b/c in the past the owner has freaked out in a similar situation, and not acknowledging that damages the animal and the relationship. Making those assumptions about tortoises also does them no favors. But swinging the other way may be equally unfair.

I try to just keep my mind open and watch Beasley's behavior with interest. The important factor is to remember that we are all just naturalists, observing the little chunk of nature living in our houses or our yards. And good naturalists observe and record, interpreting where possible but avoiding the pitfall of human narcissism -- making everyone else like us. :)
I now have my first fish. He's a little half moon Betta. How in the world does a little fish decide it likes you? I know he likes me but I also think he likes people in general. When I go to his tank to feed him I have to play with him to get him to eat. He's more interested in watching me. So it's not that I'm the food god. I think he's just a friendly little guy. You can actually tell he's not upset he's just interested. Animals aren't stupid. They have their intelligence and their instinct.🤗 Sometimes I have a really hard time out thinking them.🙃
 

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