Nasty Nature

Title: Nasty Nature
Author(s): Nick Arnold, Tony De Saulles
Translation: Małgorzata Fabianowska b>Release year: 1996
Publisher: Scholastic

Why in Database: Another volume from the series “Horrible Science” that gets to our database. It contained several turtle fragments and six images.

Terrible turtle treks
Every year green turtles swim to Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean to lay their eggs. No one knows why they go there but the island has few large animals that want to eat the turtles. Unfortunately the island is only 13 km by 9 km (8 by 5.6 miles) in size and some turtles have to swim 2,080 km (1,300 miles) to get there. To make matters worse the tired turtles’ top speed is only 3 km (less than 2 miles) an hour.

2 Snapper turtles in eastern North America are quite at home in smelly stagnant ponds or stinking sewers. It’s a bad idea to go paddling in these places (as if you would!). Snapper turtles lurk in the shallows and they’d love nice pink toes for tea.

6 In the dry season there’s little food. What do you eat?
a) Other lions
b) Fish, insects, lizards, mice and the odd tortoise.
c) Bones buried for just such an emergency.

4 The bearded vulture is wild about bone marrow too. The villainous vulture drops bones from a dizzy height of 80 metres (262 feet) on to rocks until they break open. It has been rumoured to do this to unfortunate tortoises as well and even to enjoy dive-bombing mountaineers.

4 While we are on this grisly subject, our old friend the snapper turtle (last seen lurking in the sewers) enjoys scoffing unwanted bodies. So keen is the turtle that the police in Florida, USA use tame snapper turtles to sniff out corpses. Imagine what the turtles might get as a treat! And talking about dead bodies…

Animals that hibernate include tortoises, squirrels, dormice, bats and some snakes.

Author: XYuriTT

Animalium

Title: Animalium
Author(s): Jenny Broom, Katie Scott
Release year: 2014
Publisher: Big Picture Press

Why in Database: A very large format book with a variety of animals. Two pages are dedicated to turtles, one has a picture of various turtles, the other has a general description of the turtles and specific information about the turtles shown. In addition, turtles in the form of drawings appear in many other places in the book, on the pages between chapters or on the inside pages of the covers.

Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins
Turtles are members of an order of reptiles called Testudines, which also includes tortoises and aquatic terrapins. This name refers to the hard shell that all its species possess, as a testudo in ancient Rome was a hard screen or shield that soldiers used to protect themselves. Little of the modern turtle’s anatomy has changed from its prehistoric ancestors’, who date back more than 220 million years, making turtles and tortoises more ancient than all snakes, lizards and crocodiles.
Turtles’ shells are attached to their bodies, and so their protective armour can never be taken off or left behind. Land-dwelling tortoises have higher, domed shells, whilst aquatic species have flatter shells. To hide inside their shells, some species fold their head alongside their shoulder, whilst others retract their neck and head backwards. Box turtles have a hinged bony plate that allows their shells to close completely.
Males will often perform elaborate courtship rituals to impress females, who lay shelled eggs after mating. The temperature that the eggs are kept at affects the sex of the hatchlings (a trait shared with crocodiles and some lizards).

Key to plate
1: Green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas
Length: 150 centimetres
This large sea turtle is a herbivore, feeding mostly on seagrasses. Populations of green sea turtles can be found in tropical waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
2: Painted turtle
Chtysemys pitta bellii
Length: 25 centimetres
Also known as the firebelly turtle. this species spends long hours basking in the sun, particularly early in the day. It is common sight to find several painted turtles piled on top of one another on a log.
ifey to plate
3: Blanding’s turtle
Emycloidea blandingii
Length: 20 centimetres
This turtle has a plastral hinge that forms a protective hatch at the front of its shell. It is omnivorous, feeding on a range of foods such as berries, fish and frogs.
4: Diamondback terrapin
Malaclemys terrapin
Length: 15 centimetres
The mild-mannered diamondback terrapin lives in brackish lagoons, tidal marshlands and sandy beaches in east-coast America. The species nearly became extinct due to over-hunting and destruction of its habitat
5: Leopard tortoise
Geoche/one pordoirs
Length: St centimetres
The leopard tortoise is a large tortoise found in savannah habitats in Africa, where it can live for up to 100 years. Its grasping toenails make A an agile walker, strong swimmer and surprisingly good climber.
6: Indian star tortoise
Geochelone elegans Length: 28 centimetres
The Indian star tortoise has a high tolerance of water, and so can be found in places that experience monsoon seasons. Its dome shape allows it to easily self-right.

Author: XYuriTT

Incedible Journeys Amazing Animal Migrations

Title: Incedible Journeys Amazing Animal Migrations
Author(s): Dwight Holing
Release year: 2011
Publisher: Weeldon Owen

Why in Database: Book about animals migration. The turtles first appear in a series of minor mentions, and then there are two whole pages devoted to them, with a lot of passages on those two pages. There are also pictures here and there.

Incredible Journeys is filled with such stories. Meet a bird that flies from pole to pole and back again – a yearly trip of nearly 80,000 kilometres. Follow a sea turtle hatchling, so small it would fit in your hand, as it cracks out of its egg, scrambles across a beach and catches a current that carries it across the ocean.

Conveyor belt
Turtles use Atlantic Ocean currents to carry them smoothly between far-flung feeding and nesting sites.

Jellyfish, eels and sea turtles undertake incredible journeys, too.

Ocean currents sucha s the Gulf Stream give travellers like sea turtles a lift on long migrations.

Long Lives
Sea turtles live for up to 50 years and migrate across the world’s great oceans.

All of the following fragments are from the two mentioned turtle-filled pages:

Leatherback turtle fact file
Type Sea turtle
Family Dermochelyidae
Scientific name Dermochelys coriacea
Diet Jellyfish
Average lifespan 45 years
Size Up to 2m
Weight Up to 700kg

Race winners Large flippers and a streamlined body make leatherbacks the fastest swimming sea turtle.

Riding the current
Among the oldest of all creatures, sea turtles evolved over 110 million years ago. Seven species still exist, but all are at risk of extinction. Fishing and building on beaches are part of the reason why. Sea turtles spend nearly all of their time in the water, coming ashore only briefly to lay their eggs. Catching ocean currents helps them when migrating. Some species, like the leatherback, travel across entire oceans.

Leatherback
Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles and are unlike most others. Their shell is not bony but instead, is made of skin and oily flesh. Their flippers are the biggest in proportion to their overall size. The front pair can grow as long as 2.7 metres. Leatherbacks have the widest global distribution, too. They range from Norway to the tip of New Zealand. They are also the deepest divers, able to go 1,280 metres below the surface.

Cold waters An extra layer of fat helps leatherbacks keep from freezing in cold water like that of Alaska

Migration
Leatherbacks travel from cold water, where they feed, to warm-climate beaches, where they hatch. Journeys average 6,000 kilometres. One sea turtle was tracked from its nesting site in Indonesia to California – a 20,000-kilometre trip.

Global Leatherbacks roam the oceans widely, including to the waters off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (right).

Nesting and laying
Most sea turtle species return to lay their eggs on the same beach where they hatched years before. The female crawls to a dry part of the beach after mating and uses her front flippers to dig a shallow pit the size of her body. Then she shovels out an egg cavity using her cupped rear flippers and lays 80-120 eggs. She covers the eggs with sand when she has finished and heads back to the sea.

Hatchlings
It takes a little over a month for the eggs to hatch. The temperature beneath the sand determines which sex the hatchlings will be Temperatures warmer than 29.5°C produce females. Cooler temperatures produce males. Once the baby sea turtles break out of their shells, they waste no time heading for the safety of the water.

Sand tracks Gently sloping beaches make getting in and out of the water easier.

Darkness Turtles nest at night to help hide the eggs from predators like gulls.

Hatchlings
It takes a little over a month for the eggs to hatch. The temperature beneath the sand determines which sex the hatchlings will be. Temperatures warmer than 29.5°C produce females. Cooler temperatures produce males. Once the baby sea turtles break out of their shells, they waste no time heading for the safety of the water.

Mad dash Hatchlings must cross the beach quickly to avoid predators.

Author: XYuriTT

Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown

Title: Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown
Author(s): Michael Bright
Release year: 2013
Publisher: Quercus

Why in Database: Book related to the nature series with the same title. There are a lot of turtle fragments in it, one very long and a few small ones. Plus some graphics that we also show.

The first three pieces are minor references:

An isolated population of Nile softshell turtle shares Turkana’s waters with the crocodiles.

The presence of the turtles however, indicates that at some stage in the past, when rainfall in the area was far greater that it is today, Turkana was connected to the Nile river system.

The turtles hang out on the shores of a large island, known as Central Island, also a favoured nesting site for crocodiles.

The next piece is the longest:

EPIC RACE FOR LIFE

First a dusty head and then a pair of disproportionately large flippers push up through the sand: a turtle hatchling, no more than 7 cm (3 inches) across and a dirty grey colour, appears on the surface of the dune. Its limbs flail about wildly as it stretches and strains every tiny muscle in trying to free itself from the clinging sand. It had been incubating for two months underground, before breaking out of its leathery egg case and digging its way upwards, the danger of being buried alive never far away. It and its nest mates over a hundred of them – waited patiently just below the surface for the right moment to make the final push.

A sudden drop in temperature at sunset was the trigger. Now, in the twilight, the baby turtle finally emerges, but the pit from which it has tried to escape collapses, It’s near disaster. The turtle tumbles back down, but it’s still on top of the heap, so it scrambles over the tangle of heads and flippers of the other hatchlings and heaves itself onto the surface of the sand. The brightness of the sea in front and the darkness of the land behind the nest ensure that this tiny scrap of life heads in the right direction, but there are many obstacles blocking its route, and the youngster has the dubious distinction of being a handy bite-sized packet of protein, so there are many here taking a close interest in its first journey to the sea… in fact, its first journey anywhere.

Flotsam, washed up and dumped on the shore, becomes an insurmountable barrier, and even ripples in the sand slow down the hatchling’s dash across the beach. It must not stop, but keep on going. It has to reach the water’s edge in the shortest possible time. Its life depends on it. Its limbs are actually adapted for swimming but it’s exceptionally nimble over the sand. On dry, loose sand it moves forward by pushing against the solid wedge of sand particles that forms behind its flippers, and when it reaches the wet sand it advances by digging in with a claw on each flipper so it doesn’t slip.

All around it, other baby turtles are making the same headlong rush to the sea. They come from the many hundreds of nests dotted along the beach, but not all will make it. Pied crows swoop down and pick off any hatchlings tangled in tide-line debris, and ghost crabs intercept many of those that do get through, hauling them into their burrows in the sand before tearing them literally limb from limb. It will be a miracle if even a handful reach the ocean, for the first wave of hatchlings bears the brunt of attacks; but the sacrifice of a few hundred ensures that the following thousands have a better chance of making it to the sea.

The hatchling is a baby green sea turtle, born on the island of Mwali (Moheli) in the Comoros Archipelago. She’s a female, as are all her nest mates, their sex determined by the temperature of their nest. While the eggs were incubating, the temperature of the sand regularly rose above 29°C (84.2°F), so the entire clutch are females, Below 26°C (78.5 F) and they would have been males. It means that this little female hatchling will be out at sea until her twentieth birthday, when shell return to this same beach to deposit her first batch of eggs in the sand… that is, if she ever reaches the water’s edge. Only 30% make it this far, and the beach is only the first hazard. In the shallows there are more predators waiting and more obstacles to negotiate The hatchling swims powerfully, her head down and flippers pulling hard against the water. As she comes up for air she switches to doggy-paddling, raises her head above the surface for a quick breath, and then powers on through the surf, except that at 25 g (less than an ounce) the baby is turned over in the breaking waves and battered against the sand.
On reaching clear water beyond the surf line she surfaces for air again. It’s what the kites have been waiting for. They swoop down and scoop hatchlings from the surface, and even those hidden below are not safe. There are sharks offshore ready to intercept them on their way to deeper water. Even fewer will have made it this far, but the little female ploughs on towards the open sea, though her pace is gradually slowing, until it levels off after about twelve hours. All the while, she’s been swimming almost non-stop using the remnants of her yolk sac for energy; and she carries over ten times more yolk than she needs in her break for freedom so that she can keep going without feeding for up to fourteen days.
By that time, she’ll be swept along in the Mozambique Channel in a series of enormous anti-cyclonic eddies, each up to 300 km (186 miles) across. Where she and all the other survivors go for the next twenty years is a mystery (and only one in a thousand survives to adulthood), but wherever that might be will depend on the strength and direction of the ocean currents, especially those in the Mozambique Channel, birthplace as well of the formidable Agulhas Current.
The equatorial sun to the north powers the system, and it swirls inexorably southwards between Madagascar and the African mainland. Here, it strongly influences the climate of much of Mozambique, one factor that helps maintain an extraordinary and unexpected diversity of fauna and flora unsuRepublic of South Africassed in much of the rest of Africa.

The next three are captions to the photos appearing besides the above long fragment:

Breaking out of its leathery egg case and digging its way upwards, for a baby turtle the danger of being buried alive is never far away. All around it, other babies are making the same headlong rush to the sea… but not all will make it.

When they emerge from the sand, green sea turtle hatchlings head unerringly towards the sea, but all manner of dangers are waiting for them on the beach. Most make their run at night, when fewer predators are about, but the latecomers must run the gauntlet in daylight and as a consequence the casualty figures rise.

On reaching the water, the hatchling heads for the open sea, searching for upwellings where food is concentrated. It will live in the ocean for up to five years, feeding on zooplankton and small marine creatures, before heading for sea grass meadows along the shore where, while still an immature juvenile, it becomes a herbivore.

The next three fragments are again, smaller ones:

The water and all of floating life immersed in it (including, no doubt, a certain sea turtle hatchling growing a little every minute) is propelled southwestwards at about 6 knots (6.9 mph) to the Wild Coast of South Africa.

The dwarf ground sloths of the Caribbean island arc were next, about 6,000 years ago, followed by the giant crocodiles and giant land turtles of New Caledonia and nearby islands 3,000 years ago, the gorilla-size lemurs of Madagascar 2,000 years ago and New Zealand’s giant birds – moas and the giant Haast’s eagle – by AD 1400.

Together with assistant producer Rosie Thomas and production coordinator Hannah Smith, Hugh had to ensure the dead whale (a Bryde’s whale as it happened) was made safe and then mobilise a film crew; the only problem was that Hugh was filming turtle hatchlings in the Comoros Islands.

The following excerpt is about Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago:

Five species of sea turtles haul out to nest here from October to December.

Author: XYuriTT

Animals of A Bygone Era

Title: Animals of A Bygone Era
Author(s): Maja Säfström
Release year: 2017
Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Why in Database: Turtles appear in this book in the form of a single entry, dedicated to the species cylindraspis vosmaeri. There are three texts below (note, the third text is our Translation from Polish versin, we don’t have access to the original version) and a picture, this graphic is also on the back cover.

They had super-long necks like this!!

They lived on an island near Madagascar

Giant tortoises of the species cylindraspis vosmaeri were friendly animals that usually lived in large groups.

Author: XYuriTT

The turtle moves! Discworld’s story (unauthorized)

Title: The turtle moves! Discworld’s story (unauthorized)
Author(s): Lawrence Watt-Evans
Release year: 2008
Publisher: BenBella Books

Why in Database: A book about the Discworld series. We found a lot of various turtle mentions in it, in total we found as many as 26 turtle fragments and we quote them all in our note:

The idea of a flat world carried through space by four elephants standing on the back of a gigantic turtle is absurd to begin with, but sure, I suppose you could get away with using it in one novel. Maybe two. Three if you stretched. But dozens of best-selling novels and an assortment of spin-offs?

I could invent a square world instead of a disc. Or an elephant car- tying four turtles—but that’s hardly got the same sort of appeal; the poor turtles would be forever slipping off, which would make for a very bumpy sort of world.

There’s a lot more than humor here, and what humor there is, is mostly character-based, not cheap puns and pratfalls, nor mere absurdity. Don’t let the giant turtle mislead you.

There’s no continuing plot, no planned end. The only obvious unifying feature is that all the stories take place on Discworld,*’ a gigantic rotating disc carried on the backs of four elephants, who are in turn standing on the back of a cosmic turtle named Great Atuin as she (or perhaps he) swims through space.

Well, it’s not about the elephants or the turtle. This has been the cause of some confusion among would-be readers. In all the stories to date, the elephants and turtle have never yet had a line of dialogue, or intervened in human affairs. In several stories, they’re never mentioned at all, even in passing.

* There’s also chelonium, the stuff that star turtles like Great Atuin are made of, and assorted others, but they’re less important.

OUR FIRST LOOK AT DISCWORLD came in 1983, with he publication of The Colour of Magic. The book opened with a prologue describing the Disc, introducing us to the cosmic tortoise Great Atuin, and the four giant elephants who stand upon Atuin’s back: Berilia, Tubul, Great T’phon, and Jerakeen.

He’s good at that sort of thing, and that’s on display right from the start, what with the awe-inspiring descriptions of the turtle and the elephants who, one has a suspicion, were really intended in the original myths to be metaphysical concepts, or perhaps metaphors of some sort, rather than literal ani- mals with meteor scars and hydrogen frost. One doesn’t expect to see words like “meteor” and “hydrogen” in a description of a giant turtle with a world on its back.

Another Hindu myth says that the world rests on the back of a gi- gantic tortoise. (Actually, that idea appears in several cultures, whereas the elephants are specifically from Hindu myth.) Mr. Pratchett has re- solved the apparent contradiction by suggesting that both are true—the elephants are standing on the tortoise, while the world rests upon their backs.

Here in this first two-page prologue, he manages to jam in not only a description of Great Atuin and its burden, but a brief account of the space program the kingdom of Krull has created to study the nature of their world.

Really, it cant have the same physics we do, or it wouldn’t be possible—a flat disc several thousand miles in diameter would not be stable, could not retain a breathable atmosphere, and wouldn’t gener- ally have gravity pointing the right direction. And we won’t even think about the turtle or the elephants.

“It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the Disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists’ houses and smashing their windows.”

He is, in fact, a one-eyed tortoise, and his once-mighty lightnings are reduced to sparks that can barely singe a heretic’s hair.

Ephebe is a col- lection of all the stories told about ancient Athens, cranked up to the ab- surd—elected tyrants, labyrinths, philosophers arguing about tortoises, and leaping naked from the bath shouting “Eureka!”

Small Gods is also the source of my title. One doctrine of the Omnian church is that they live on a globe, and this talk of a disc-shaped world supported by elephants atop a gigantic turtle is nonsense—heretical, blasphemous nonsense that can get you executed.
The Omnians who dare to rebel against the church hierarchy take part of their inspiration from stories about people who have seen the edge of the world that the church says doesn’t exist; they believe that the Disc does rest on Great Atuin’s back, as described by travelers and in an Ephebian book entitled De Chelonian Mobile—‘The Turtle Moves.”

And the rebels, like Galileo, may pay lip service to the Omnian faith in public, but among themselves they remind one another, “The Turtle moves!” As John Morley said, “You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.” The truth will out in time. When the stories people live by become too far distanced from reality, they break down. Regardless of what anyone may teach, regardless of what anyone may want, the Disc does rest atop four elephants, who are standing on Great Atuin’s back.
And the Turtle moves!
If you think about it, it doesn’t really matter to your ordinary Omnian in the street that the Turtle moves, but it’s a short, catchy phrase that sums up the extent of the church’s lies. It works.

We’ve met a god of evolution, we’ve seen discussions of how natural selection has operated in producing the current faculty of Unseen University and the Disc’s remarkable crop of barbarian heroes, and we’ve had comments on the evolutionary value of tortoises learning to fly, on the survival value of stupidity in vampires, on the reproductive strategies of the phoenix, and on any number of similar subjects.

118 Necessary for the creation of cosmic turtles,

Legend has it there was once a fifth,!”’ but it slipped off Great Atuin’s shell, orbited around, and smacked fatally into the Disc in what later became Uberwald.

There’s no parodic or satirical twist, just the story as it is. If not for the appearance of Mrs. Ogg and Mistress Weatherwax, and the fact that we’ve seen the Nac Mac Feegle before, this wouldn’t need to be a Discworld story at all—there’s no mention at all of Ankh-Morpork or any of the other familiar lands, noth- ing involving cosmic turtles or gigantic elephants, no trolls or dwarfs. This could have been set in Sussex, or Terry Pratchett’s adopted home county of Wiltshire, with only the most trivial of changes.

As I said right at the beginning, in my first introduction, this whole world-on-a-turtle thing should’ve only been good for a couple of books, three at the outside.

Other popular deities include Offler the Crocodile-Headed God, the ichor-drip- ping Lovecraftian monstrosity Bel-Shamharoth, the sea-god Dagon, the wine-god Bibulous, Bast, Nuggan, Anoia, and of course Om, who spent virtually all of Small Gods in the shape of a small tortoise.

Likewise, in Small Gods, the Omnian church is an oppressive, imperialist, totalitarian force—but Om himself is trapped in the form of a small tortoise, unheard by even his own priests, until Brutha saves him.

All the theoretical musings of the ancient Greeks are consid- ered by the Ephebians, but do not remain mere theorizing; instead, ar- rows and tortoises and bathtubs are brought out to test each hypothesis, but somehow fail to resolve many of the arguments.

In Small Gods, the rebels in Omnia take “The Turtle moves!” as their rallying cry. Now, we know they’re right, Great Atuin does indeed move, but does it really matter? How does the Turtle’s existence and movement affect anyone?

Its not important that the Disc is atop a cosmic turtle; what’s important is that the Church says it isn’t.

Author: XYuriTT

Cry of the Kalahari

Title: Cry of the Kalahari
Author(s): Mark Owens, Delia Owens
Release year: 1984
Publisher: Robert Hartnoll Limited

Why in Database: A travel book about the title Desert. There are three different turtle fragments in it. All three are comparisons:

On the move for months, lugging our shelter with us wherever we went, we had begun to feel like a turtle with a steel shell.

It was the same lionesses and their adolescent young we had often seen. But on the other occasions when hey had visited camp, the truck had always been nearby; now I felt as vulnerable as a turtle without a shell.

With Echo Whisky Golf, the days were gone when we groveled like turtles, slowly dragging the the metal shell of our Land Cruiser laboratory and home wherever we went.

Source: Mossar, Developed: XYuriTT

Wizard and Glass

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Author(s): Stephen King
Release year: 1997
Publisher: Donald M. Grant

Why in Database: The fourth volume of the Dark Tower series, with many turtle fragments. We list all of them below:

The first case is a mention in the form of a comparison:

They were now flying through the mountain-range they had seen on the horizon: iron-gray peaks rushed toward them at suicidal speed, then fell away to disclose sterile valleys where gigantic beetles crawled about like landlocked turtles.

Again, as comparison:

The town of Candleton was a poisoned and irradiated ruin, but not dead; after all the centuries it still twitched with tenebrous life—trundling beetles the size of turtles, birds that looked like small, misshapen dragonlets, a few stumbling robots that passed in and out of the rotten build ings like stainless steel zombies, their joints squalling, their nuclear eyes flickering.

Turtle-beetles are mentioned:

In the town square, the Candleton Fountain split in two, spilling out not water but only dust, snakes, mutie scorpions, and a few of the blindly trundling turtle-beetles.

Turtle in the name of the location:

According to the sign, two outfits—Mills Construction and Sombra Real Estate—were going to combine on something called Turtle Bay Condominiums, said condos to be erected on this very spot. When? COMING SOON was all the sign had to say in that regard.

Turtle in the shop’s name:

There was the Bear and Turtle Mercantile & Sundrie Items, where miners were forbidden by the Vi Castis Company to shop, and a company store where no one but grubbies would shop; there was a com bined jailhouse and Town Gathering Hall with a windmill-cum-gallows out front; there were six roaring barrooms, each more sordid, desperate, and dangerous than the last.

Wzmianka o totemie żółwia, jednego ze strażników Mrocznej Wieży:

These thoughts were snatched out of her mind just as hands—strong ones —snatched the box of groceries from her arms. Cordelia cawed in surprise, shaded her eyes against the sun, and saw Eldred Jonas standing there between the Bear and Turtle totems, smiling at her. His hair, long and white (and beautiful, in her opinion), lay over his shoulders.

A reference to turtle slowness:

Sheemie could have been at the Delgado place two hours ago, if he’d wanted, but he had trudged along at a turtle’s pace, the letter inside his shirt seeming to drag at his every step. It was awful, so awful. He couldn’t even think about it, because his thinker was mostly broken, so it was.

Turtle used as saying/blessing:

”Bless the Turtle,” Reynolds muttered, and tapped his throat three times. He was terrified of rabies.
”You won’t bless anything if the Wizard’s Rainbow gets hold of you,” Latigo said grimly, and swung his attention back to Jonas.

Again, Turtle as saying/blessing:

”Wake up, sai! Wake up! In the name of the Turtle and the Bear, wake up!”

Unusually, in the next two passages, the Turtle, guardian of the Dark Tower, speaks out:

Now, suddenly, he knows that voice—it is the voice of the Turtle. He looks and sees a brilliant blue-gold glow piercing the dirty dark ness of Thunderclap. Before he can do more than register it, he breaks out of the darkness and into the light like something coming out of an egg, a creature at last being born.
”Light! Let there be light!”
the voice of the Turtle cries, and Roland has to put his hands to his eyes and peek through his fingers to keep from being blinded.

”You will kill everything and everyone you love,” says the voice of the Turtle, and now it is a cruel voice, cruel and hard. ”and still the Tower will be pent shut against you.”
The gunslinger draws in all his breath and draws together all his force; when he cries his answer to the Turtle, he does so for all the gen erations of his blood: ”NO! IT WILL NOT STAND! WHEN I COME HERE IN MY BODY, IT WILL NOT STAND! I SWEAR ON MY FA THER ‘S NAME. IT WILL NOT STAND/”

Author: XYuriTT

Evolve or Die

Title: Evolve or Die
Original title: Evolve or Die
Author(s): Phil Gates
Release year: 1999
Publisher: Scholastic UK

Why in Database:A book from the Horrible Science series. It’s about evolution, soDarwin and the Galapagos Turtles couldn’t be missing! Turtles appear abundantly in the fragment about him, they are mentioned in 3 other places in the book, besides that, in the visual layer, they are found on many graphics. We present all this below:

Pterosaurs soared overhead, while Ichthyosaurs and giant turtles cruised the oceans.

Charles Darwin belched contentedly and leaned back in his chair. He picked at a morsel of tortoise flesh that had stuck between his teeth.
”That made a tasty meal, Captain Fitzroy,” he said. ”But I wish we could have taken the giant tortoises home alive.”
(…)
”I’m sorry, Darwin, but there’s just no room for any more live animals. Look around you. Where could we put six giant tortoises?”
Darwin eyed Fitzroy’s hammock, but said nothing. His gaze shifted idly to the pile of empty tortoiseshells. Each one came from a different island in the group of Galapagos Islands that they had just left behind. Suddenly Darwin noticed something that he hadn’t spotted before. Each shell had a slightly different pattern. Why? he wondered.
He pondered the question for some time before a thunderous thought hit him. His jaw dropped. His eyes glazed over. The jars of preserved specimens swam before his eyes.
The penny finally dropped. It was the Galapagos tortoises that set Darwin’s mind racing. Could it be that a single type of tortoise had originally landed on one island, swimming across from the coast of South America? And could it be that its descendants changed a bit, every time they’d colonized a new island? Each island was a bit different, with different kinds of plants growing on it, so maybe the tortoises that lived on each island needed to be a little bit different too.
Suddenly, it all seemed to make sense. He thought back to the birds that he’d seen on the islands. There were little brown finches on every island, and each island had its own special versions of these birds. They were all basically the same, but each species on each island had a slightly different beak shape. Perhaps they’d all evolved from the same species which had arrived on one island then evolved a bit when it spread to the others.
As they sailed home Darwin became certain that you could tell which island a tortoise came from by the pattern on its shell. They probably had other tell-tale atures too, but unfortunately it was too late to find out. They I loaded some live giant tortoises on board HMS ‘d Beagle, and he and Fitzroy had eaten them.
Still, it looked suspiciously like all the different types of tortoise had evolved from a single ancestor. Darwin began to wonder whether all kinds of living things had evolved in the same sort of way.
The differences between the tortoises were quite small, but later he began to wonder whether evolution could explain bigger differences between species too? Could fish have wriggled out of the sea, grown legs and evolved into amphibians like newts and frogs?

GALAPAGOS GUIDE BOOK
The Spanish discovered these Islands in 1535. They found giant tortoises there, so they called them the Galapagos Islands after galapago, the Spanish word for tortoise.
The Islands were created by undersea volcanic eruptions, 960 km west of the coast of Ecuador in South Volcanoes still erupt there quite often.
The Islands were once a favourite holiday destination for pirates and buccaneers, who came for a bit of rest and relaxation after raiding South American cities. The peckish pirates were particularly partial to a glant tortoise barbecue on the beach.

Evolve or Die Fact File
NAME: Giant tortoise
HABITAT: The Galapagos Islands
A single Galapagos giant tortoise can weigh 250kg. It takes eight men to lift one.
Sallors used to ride on them for fun. Darwin discovered that their top speed was about four miles per day.
Eleven different species of Galapagos tortoise survive today, each on its own Galapagos Island. Sadly, there’s only one giant tortoise left on the Island of Pinta. He’s a male, called Lonesome George. A reward of $10,000 has been offered to anyone who can find a genuine female Pinta giant tortoise to keep Lonesome George company.

Sometimes animals can become castaways. They can get carried out to sa and end up stranded on islands. Remember those Galapagos giant tortoises, and Darwin’s finches that he found on the Galapagos Islands?

Nothing can bring back extinct species, but there’s still time to save tigers, Spix’s macaw, the Californian condor, the Madagascan serpent eagle, the ivory-billed woodpecker, the hawksbill turtle and the giant panda, which are all sliding towards extinction…


Author: XYuriTT

Blood and Bone

Title: Blood and Bone
Author(s): Ian Cameron Esslemont
Release year: 2012
Publisher: Tor Books

Why in Database: This book is set in the Malazan Book of the Fallen universe, it is one of the side books. Contains one turtle fragment, one of the characters is referred to as “turtle-boy”.

‘We have them, turtle-boy! Got them both. You should’ve seen it. It was laughable. They walked right in. Ha!’ He raised the skin and poured another stream into his mouth.
Heng-lon — turtle-boy, apparently — laughed as well, though he obviously had no idea why.

Source: Mossar, Developed: XYuriTT