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Tortoise intelligence

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Atlas.thetortoise, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Atlas.thetortoise

    Atlas.thetortoise New Member

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    I’ve always wondered if there’s an intellectual difference amongst tortoise species. In other words, is one species of tortoise more intelligent than the other?

    Sort of like how tortoise “personalities” vary from one species to another.

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    It is clear to me, after observing our CDTs for a number of years, that they are creatures of repetitive behavior, in that they live lives of routine (but so do I, for the most part, hmmm), doing the same thing on a daily basis as long as the ambient temperatures remain consistent. Their behavior does change in relationship to the seasons. They also respond to us as presenters of food, or to us should we invade their habitat. How much intelligence does this represent? I don't know, clearly not as much as my dog, but probably more than myself. What can I say? I do not have first hand experience with any tortoises other than our CDTs.
  3. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ We have been working with several species for over thirty years and basically agree with this members opinion.

    16406932_178278739323627_6067962234307716798_n.jpg
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  4. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    ....and this repetitive behaviour basically ensures their survival and reproduction.
    Just like us. Hmmmmmmm. Kind of.
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  5. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    You know, my wife expects certain things of me, and I of her. After 48 years of marriage and interacting. . . we just know things. They don't necessarily require intelligence. My wife would give a harty amen to that. Intelligence requires the ability to reason beyond simple cognitive behaviors. The wonderful pictures ALDABRAMAN posts seem to portray love, but although our tortoises to seem to enjoy interacting with us, I'm pretty sure that it isn't love. Love requires the ability and desire to intercede on the part of one for another without the expectation of anything in return. Tortoises are not capable of this sort of display. I realize that I've gotten off the path toward intelligence, but the ability to show love requires some level of intelligence beyond the level of hormonal response. The line between instinct and intelligence may be a fine one, but to the best of my intellect, the ability to truly love may be the deciding factor.
  6. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Love is often really another word for "need" and our pets generally "need" us and we like to take it as love! Naturally.
    I agree with what you said! And I like how you put it.
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I don't think our tortoises need "us" in particular. They just need someone or something to drop food in and keep their water relatively clean. Maybe change a bulb as needed. I don't think they care one bit who or what drops the food into their enclosure. An automated robot could do it. This is why I don't call it love. Anyone can go drop food in front of my tortoises and their reaction is the same. They eat it.
  8. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Right Tom. I said our pets "generally need us" and we "like to take it as love". I don't think they "love" us either - not the reptiles anyway.
    But they do need us, or whatever represents care and food to them. And some of them can and do recognise our voices and make the association with food.
  9. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    Tom, my wife and I just returned yesterday following a four day trip. As I went over to our tortoise enclosure, our male CDT older female both came charging over. The neighbor who had been caring for them during our absence, as she has been for years, was shagrinned that they wouldn't come to her that way. I wasn't bringing food over as yet, but here they came. Perhaps voice recognition? I don't know. It isn't love, but there seems to be some sort of bond.
  10. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    :D

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  11. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    Oh yea . . . that's what I'm talking about.
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  12. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    How old is this tort?
  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    :)

  14. spacercaser

    spacercaser New Member

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    The Galapagos tortoises I worked with for about two years seemed to recognize me when I walked by the guest area, they usually ignore guests. One of my geckos tends to wake up and come out to look at me when I get home from work and start talking. According to my family he ignores other voices (and that might be true since he doesn’t come out if I’m quiet). I think it’s more that reptiles recognize their primary caretaker(s) and associate them with getting food, or possibly with interesting things happening (that gecko likes to watch tv and people moving around as long as they’re not too close to him).
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  15. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    Whether its for food, attention, or something else, those tortoises we've cared for longest seem to recognize us and come over to where we are. Visitors are frequently ignored, even if they come bearing gifts of food. Ahhh. . . but a rose or gazania in the hands of my self or my wife brings them a-running.
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  16. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I can't see the video, it says it is unavailable.
  17. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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  18. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you That's just awesome.
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  19. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Tammy, what are you talking about? Can you still say you don't think they "love" us after you just watched that video with the human and the obviousy enthralled:):<3: aldabra??? Of course not!!!
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  20. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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