A turtle drawing always includes the creature’s odd mixture of shell, clawed feet, and retractable head and tail-and is a fascinating subject for children and professional scientists alike.
In science, it is an accepted fact that the anatomical make-up of every species has a corresponding physiological function. As the animal undergoes complex evolution or just natural growth, so the physiological purpose of every part of its body may change and adapt. As time progresses, nature helps the animal cope with its environment by honing or diminishing certain parts of its anatomy.
Certain parts of the turtle’s body have been well-studied, but the turtle’s tail has not been researched quite as much. An accurate turtle drawing that hones in on the animal’s tail will depict that the tail is designed to support the turtle in its activities, and to equip it in a manner that would help it survive in a harsh and competitive environment. The turtle’s tail performs crucial functions, aiding the turtle when it moves about, whether it is in water or on land. Some species or orders of turtles, particularly the young Snapping Turtles, rely mostly on their tails to help them ascend slopes on land.
Scientists have also discovered that some turtles share the same tail movement as other creatures in their family, like salamanders and lizards, although their bodily structures are different from that of the turtle’s. Studies of a turtle’s anatomy have established that male turtles have longer tails than do females. The cloacal opening, the hole in their tail, is also the passage by which they defecate, urinate, and, in the case of the female turtles, lay eggs. Male cloacal openings are positioned farther from their bodies compared to those of the females. Some turtles develop the ability to breathe underwater through this opening. These types of turtles are said to possess cloacal bursae, an organ similar to a fish’s gills that enables respiration in water.
If you are housing many turtles together in a large tank or enclosure, be sure to monitor all of them closely. Be keenly aware of their behavior in the group and as individuals, so you will be able to keep them in an environment where they are safe and well cared for. Some turtle owners claim that injuries incurred to the tails of their turtles caused the animals to deteriorate into poor health. Turtles tend to fight among each other by shoving, pushing, and at times, biting, when they are enclosed in an area that is too small for them. Moreover, it is very important to observe male turtles kept together during mating season, as males will fight over a female, and may cause serious injury to each other. If aggressive and dominant behaviors are seen, it is always prudent to separate the turtles so that they cannot irreparably harm each other.
During the course of establishing dominance with each other, the male turtles exhibit aggression. It is inevitable that their tails, along with any other unprotected parts of their anatomy, may get damaged in the process. Thus, providing them a wider area that accommodates their growth and behavior is a must. It is also your role as a responsible owner to watch them closely, and break off any fight before any serious injuries occur.