Desert tortoises mate in Joshua Tree National Park
A video of desert tortoises mating on Joshua Tree National Park’s Facebook page will leave a permanent picture in your mind of how it all goes down.
According to the post — dated Aug. 1 — earlier that week, park wildlife biologists happened upon a « mommy and a daddy tortoise busily creating the next generation. »
« It might be a little while before there are any little ones, though. A female desert tortoise can store sperm for 5 years or more! When ready — usually between mid-April and early July — the female will dig out a nest and lay a clutch of eggs. Anywhere from 1 – 15 baby tortoises will hatch a few months later. Each one will be about the size of a ping-pong ball. »
The post said it’s a « very lucky hatchling that survives to adulthood and gets to make baby tortoises of its own. It takes 15 – 20 years for tortoises to reach sexual maturity, and only a handful out of every hundred babies live that long. Because of this long, slow life cycle, tortoises are highly vulnerable to human interference. Protected areas like Joshua Tree National Park are critical for the survival of the species. »
The post, which had 213 shares and 530 likes as of Tuesday, also had 74 comments, some cute, some creative, some raunchy.
Here’s a sampling:
Kelly Moore O’Sullivan: « I feel like such a voyeur now. »
Gwen Ganger: « TMI Turtle lovers of the world unite! »
Stacy Wade: « Turtle porn!! »
Laura L. Phillips: « Get a room! »
Jordan Rocha: « I guess slow and steady does win. »
Tal Filossof: « Can cross ‘watched tortoises have sex’ off my list. »
Barbara Crone: « Hope she got dinner and flowers first! Hahaha trippy video.