Reptile Biologist Explains That Tortoises Are Quite Affectionate Despite Their Tough Exteriors

Reptile biologist Matt Evans at the Smithsonian National Zoo Reptile Discovery Center (previously), explains that tortoises are actually quite affectionate despite their tough exterior and then proves his point by petting a giant tortoise who responds in kind.

Tortoises enjoy tactile sensations; rubbing, scratching, that kind of thing. So when we go in there with them and we’re engaging with them – we’ll kind of rub their shell, scratch their head a bit and when we do that, they extend that neck out and they’ll look like they’re enjoying it a little bit and that’s just something we do to interact with the tortoises on a daily basis.

Evans also explains what the tortoises eat on a daily basis and how much attention is paid to making sure that the tortoises getting a balanced meal every time they’re fed.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.