The tortoise evolved its shell purely for self-protection? Just look at its ancestors!
The earth breeds tens of thousands of species, each of which has its own life characteristics and body structure. Everyone must have seen the tortoise. The most impressive thing is its shell, which provides strong protection for it. In case of danger, its head and limbs will quickly retract into the shell, and it can basically avoid danger. Even if it has a lot of natural enemies, it will not be able to bite when encountering creatures like turtles. No matter how sharp its teeth are, it will not be able to bite its hard shell.
The function of tortoise shell in daily life
Many creatures in nature, in order to protect themselves, will evolve different skills. Many people are naive to think that tortoise evolved tortoise shell to protect themselves from harm. If they really think so, it’s too superficial. The reason why tortoise grew tortoise shell is actually different. What’s the matter? Scientists dissected the tortoise’s body and found some strange places. Its shell is tightly connected with the bones in its body. In other words, its tortoise shell is a part of the skeleton, not a protective shell. How did its tortoise shell evolve? Scientists make two guesses. The tortoise evolved its shell purely for self-protection? Just look at its ancestors!
First, the tortoise shell may have evolved from the tortoise’s ribs. When researchers observed the tortoise shell, they found some clues from its embryo. Second, tortoise shell is evolved from a kind of bony skin, which is called bone scale. For example, crocodiles, lizards and other animals all have a certain amount of armor, and they all come from this way. There has been a constant debate about these two kinds of conjectures. Scientists are eager to find evidence of ancient tortoise fossils to confirm their views.
Scientists find tortoise fossils
Fortunately, all the efforts have not been in vain. In 2008, a scientist found a turtle fossil in the Triassic strata of Guizhou. According to the test, it came from 220 million years ago. It has a very strange turtle shell and is in the abdomen. Subsequent studies found that it did not come from the so-called bone scales, but from the ribs of the body, which means that the first guess may be correct. For the tortoise, its shell will not play a role in self-protection, but will affect its flexibility. This is also the reason why the tortoise can’t run faster than the rabbit in the race between the tortoise and the rabbit. However, the tortoise is diligent and won’t be lazy, so it can defeat the arrogant rabbit in the end.
At the end of the 19th century, scientists also found fossils of the true South turtle. Its forelimbs were much stronger than its hind legs and were good at digging. It may live in a low light level environment, leading to hardening rings around the eyes. It can be proved from all kinds of signs that it likes to live underground, but it does not have a decent turtle shell, which has nothing to do with the appearance of modern tortoises.
Is there a possibility that it was the ancestor of the tortoise, and after a long evolution, it became a modern tortoise. A long time ago, the tortoise did not have a hard shell, but was forced to grow a tortoise shell because of changes in the environment. If so, the tortoise’s shell is not for self-protection, but for more convenient excavation. What kind of function do you think the tortoise shell has? You can leave a message for interaction.