The mating process begins with the male tortoise picking up a female’s scent trail and following it until he ultimately reaches his target. Then the courtship begins. Courtship techniques vary from species to species, but the common denominating factor between all of the Mediterranean group is aggresion. Unlike alot of the animal kingdom where partners are effectionately wooed by attractive and colourful displays, female tortoises are literally bullied into submission through relentless ramming, biting and butting from their male counterparts.
There is something timeless about tortoises. They have an air of ancient wisdom. Their ancestors waded through primordial swamps before the dinosaurs. The fact that they wander now through the ruins of long-gone human civilizations seems appropriate. In many places around the world tortoises are not protected, not honored, and instead are snatched from their homes to appease a misguided human desire to own them.
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