Vibrators make turtles horny, but not all of them 34

Admittedly, ‘vibrators make turtles horny’ isn’t a headline I anticipated writing when I woke up today, but according to the journal Acta Herpologica, a silver bullet vibrator works wonders if you’re trying to establish the sex of a turtle.

Like chicks, turtles are notoriously hard to sex (which is important for research and conservation), and established methods involve sedation and a rather long endoscope. You wouldn’t really like that, and nor do they.

In some cases, turtles don’t present much of a challenge, but for some species, there’s no external clues as to whether one is male or female. So, rather than rely on the invasive current methods, a team of researchers in Oklahoma has been titillating turtles with a silver bullet vibrator in order to give male ones an erection.

“We attempted to induce an erection by applying an 18 cm, variable-speed, silver bullet vibrator to its shell and tail. We vibrated turtles for 10 min or until an erection was achieved, and we recorded the amount of time that it took to induce an erection. Trials were scored as “unsuccessful” if an erection had not been induced by the end of the 10-minute trial period,” the paper states.

Early trials found that turtles needed to be fairly relaxed for the process to work, and that the efficacy varied according to species and where exactly the turtle was rubbed with the vibrator, and in what way.

“In general, turtles appeared to respond best when only the tip of the vibrator was touching them and when the vibrator had fresh batteries and was set on the fastest setting. Also, they seemed to respond best when the tip was held firmly against them (rather than allowing it to bounce), but not be pressed hard against them. Both allowing it to bounce and pressing it too hard generally resulted in turtles holding their limbs and tail tightly against the body, rather than relaxing,” the researchers found.

The most effective method, apparently, is to “move the vibrator around in small, slow, steady circles” but this, again, varied according to the species. Overall, how effective the method was varied between 55.6% – and 100% across three different families of turtle.

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