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Journal of No. 118

February 1st, 2012

You're not helping. Why is that, Leon? @ 06:40 am


For science.

Lateralized righting behavior in the tortoise (Testudo hermanni)

We investigated the presence of motor asymmetries in the tortoise Testudo hermanni, using the righting response (i.e. the animal is positioned upside-down and the left/right side to which it uprights is observed), a procedure already employed to assess behavioural lateralization in amphibians. The ability of righting has a particularly high adaptive value in tortoises, as in case of overturning, and consequent exposure to sunrays, changes in body temperature and difficulties in respiration could occur leading to serious conditions. Thirty-four tortoises underwent a series of righting tests in a standardized apparatus, 15 tortoises were also retested 10 months later. A bias at the individual as well as at the population level was found for preferentially turning on the right side.
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Journal of No. 118