Hero Tortoise Aids Flipped Friend [Video]
With 1.6 million views and counting, you've probably already seen a heartwarming video of one tortoise helping a friend in need at Taipei Zoo. But if you haven't see the viral video, you can check it out below.
Recorded and uploaded by YouTube user AuDi Yu, this father and nature-lover was able to catch a wild sight at Taipei Zoo in Taiwan back in late November.
"Today my daughter went to the Taipei Zoo to participate in an after-school activity, and we were very lucky to see this turned over tortoise and the smart companion that saved it," the father told the online community (with the help of an online translator).
Yu added that he took the opportunity to tell his daughter that helping others is a joyful thing to do - an important life lesson for any youngster.
And you can certainly hear joy in the video. Only a mere minute long, Yu's video will have you glued to the screen and holding your breath as you watch one big turtle* struggle to help right his overturned friend. Eventually he succeeds, to the obvious elated joy of the schoolchildren gathered around. (Scroll to read on...)
[ Credit: AuDi Yu ]
But how did our tortoise friend get on its back in the first place? According to a 2007 study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, most tortoise flippings are not the freak accidents that people think they are. Belligerent males often try to flip opponents over during fights for territorial rights.
Being flipped is a terrifying experience for the loser, as they are then more vulnerable - but they aren't doomed. The study goes on to add that thanks to the geometry of a tortoise shell, the right amount of wiggling and leg flailing will let a tortoise right itself eventually - just hopefully before a hungry predator comes along.
*Before you decide to add your own two cents to the raging "turtle" vs "tortoise" debate occurring in the original video's comments, it should be pointed out that both terms apply. Contrary to popular belief, tortoises are a family of land-dwelling turtles in the order Testudines.
For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).