Turtle slander!

This entirely not-safe-for-work video purports to tell the true, scientifically accurate story of the Teenage Ninja Turtles. I don’t know — it seems to think all turtles are the same.


  1. ChasCPeterson says

    it’s also not particularly ‘scientifically accurate’.
    The first line is bullshit; turtles do so have (internal) ears and can hear just fine.
    The second line implies that they can’t make any noises beyond “hissing breath”…surprise!
    Taught by a rat therefore carry plague?

  2. woozy says

    I’m going to be grouchy.

    Turtles live 100 years so a teenager has the mental capacity of a 9-year old and when you see a turtles toothless grin it’s because his penis can reach his chin are very poor examples of scientific reasoning.

    This may be (but probably aren’t) factually accurate ninja turtles, they are certainly not scientifically accurate ninja turtles.

    But I’m just being a grouch.

  3. David Marjanović says

    turtles do so have (internal) ears

    Indeed, they have complete inner and middle ears with an eardrum and all. They don’t have an outer ear beyond a hole that leads to the eardrum, but why would they, not being mammals and all – birds don’t either.

    Taught by a rat therefore carry plague?


  4. woozy says

    I’m all for cynicism and humor, but these types of joke just seem to replace one form of mindless cultural mythology (anthropomorphic pablum) with another (science is gross and weird and unsentimental [almost purposely so and it serves us right for ever entertaining anthropomorphic pablum]).

  5. Chelydra says

    Many species have a large, visible tympanum, easily recognizable as an ear.

    Only the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) has a “tongue shaped like a worm,” which it uses as a fishing lure. It’s only a small protrusion from the top of an otherwise typical tongue, and no other species has this.

    Studies suggest that only a small percentage of wild turtles carry Salmonella. In fairness, the TMNT were pet store animals, which are commonly infected.

    Turtles are not usually helpless when flipped on their backs. Most species use their neck and head as a lever to right themselves. Very smooth surfaces can be a problem, or a loose substrate.

    A scientifically-accurate turtle would pick up a slice of pizza with his mouth.

    Of the five diseases listed, only salmonella would be potentially transmissible from rats to turtles. I assume that’s the only one that would occur in New York sewer rats anyways?

    Any species the TMNT are likely to be is probably not that long-lived – maybe 50 years. Maturity is related to size, not age; males are typically smaller and might reach adulthood in just a few years.

    The genitalia are a bit overdone – one third to one half the length of the shell is apparently typical. Apparently the animators were unaware that it should protrude from the cloaca, beneath the tail.

    Living in feces probably would cause bloody lesions on the shell.

    The choices the animators made are interesting. The patterns of scutes on the shell are actually less accurate than normal TMNT. They wrongly depict the turtles hiding in their shells as if there’s a lot of empty space inside. Proper corrections include the number of toes and lack of teeth. They seem to have used Eurasian tortoises as a reference for the heads and feet, rather than the Trachemys pond sliders the TMNT are most likely to be.

    In a “scientifically accurate” parody I’d like to see: webbed feet, long necks, long tails that reflect their gender, and accurate retraction of body parts into the shell. Colorful skin patterns. Ultraviolet vision. Maybe an overwhelming desire to bask in the sun – hopefully their pizza is laced with a lot of Vitamin D3 supplements.