Before reading the actual study, I came up with a few of my own guesses for why the F turtles would need vibrators.
Here are some reasons I came up with: to turn them on, to serve as little jet packs to make them go faster, to tickle them, to see if turtles are ticklish, or to massage them when they're sore.
That was about all I could come up with, and apparently, all of my guesses were wrong. Weird, right? It turns out, there's a completely different reason some scientists have been using vibrators on turtles.
Finding out the sex of a turtle is no easy feat.
If you, much like myself, haven't spent much time trying to figure out the sex of a turtle, you may not know that doing so isn't that easy. In fact, Live Science reports the task is "extremely challenging." But apparently, scientists have found that using a vibrator on a turtle can help with this.
The authors of a new study, in which researchers used a vibrator, explain that, in addition to the males and females just looking alike in shape and size, individual turtles may also show traits of both males and females, so it can be hard to tell whether it's a male or female just be looking at it.
But of course, knowing the sex of an animal is pretty important for scientists trying to conduct research on them. So researchers have traditionally had to resort to some pretty time-consuming methods, like blood samples, surgery, and even inserting cameras into the private parts of animals to try to find out their sex, all of which are also pretty invasive.
So scientists had to figure out an easier way to get these turtles to... you know, show their genitals.
Researchers thought of a pretty good way for the dude turtles to get, you know, excited. *wink*
Yep, I have a feeling you know where this is going.
The researchers used a 7-inch-long handheld vibrator and placed it on the genitals of four different species of turtles. The method was more successful for some of the species than it was for others. That being said, the researchers behind the study reported that "plenty of the turtle males" let the vibrator bring out their true colors, if you will.
"Although this is an admittedly comical method, it does actually have scientific merit because it is less invasive for the animals and easier and cheaper for the researchers," the study's lead author, Donald McKnight, a doctoral candidate with the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences at James Cook University in Australia, told Live Science.
So, next time you whip out your vibe, just remember that somewhere out there a turtle could be enjoying the same sensation.
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