Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Turtle Scratcher

Tickle your turtle
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I have a red-eared terrapin and it _loves_ to have it's carapace scratched. It dances and wriggles and pushes up against your nails. Then it follows you looking for more. Trust me, this is very unusual behaviour for a turtle. The problem is that after a while I get bored.

I want to build a gentle turtle scratcher. It's a gentle (as gentle as you'd feel safe using to sctatch a young child's back) scratcher appendage that is at a fixed height off the ground and is sensor activated.

Turtle walks underneath and scratcher operates until turtle moves away, (or max time limit is exceeded).

FloridaManatee, May 18 2003

Terrapin Station http://64.95.118.51...6632-resized200.jpg
[thumbwax, Oct 05 2004]

My Terrapin Jetta http://www.michaelk...snet.co.uk/orb1.htm
It always starts the same way... [calculust, Oct 05 2004]

Terrapin or Slider? YOU decide. http://www.geocitie...y/redearturtle.html
[FloridaManatee, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       This must be grounds for a children's book. +
k_sra, May 18 2003
  

       Give your terrapin some fresh apple from me and have a croissant for your elf.
OpheliaFrump, May 18 2003
  

       Hehe, I'd like to meet this turtle. It'd be interesting if you did actually build one, to see if it is indeed the scratching it enjoys, or just the contact with you.
RoboBust, May 18 2003
  

       would it be the noise it makes? or the vibration?
po, May 18 2003
  

       I'd hate to be around when you're at work, and he's *all* *alone*.
galukalock, May 18 2003
  

       implying that he is a pizza eating, teenage ninja?
po, May 18 2003
  

       Hmmm...now how'd that lamp get broken?
smileydudette, May 18 2003
  

       You know, turtles aren't malicious, needy, etc. To guage their intelligence, imagine a chicken with a shell and not enough sleep.   

       So, I doubt the terrapin can even recognise me when I come home. At first, the terrapin looks at me with a who's this human look, and only gets friendly after it's had a scratch. He reacts exactly the same no matter who scratches him.   

       Actually, I have two terrapins. Both are pushing 30 (teenagers in human years). One (female) has a perfect shell and the other (male) has a less than perfectly smooth shell; looks a little wrinkly, but otherwise he doesn't seem to notice. The female enjoys scratching a bit but the male goes ga-ga. So maybe he's got itchy scales and lacks a suitable surface to slough them off.   

       If I get round to building the scratcher from a shoe polisher and a light gate, I'll see if it's human contact or a scratching post he likes. I'll post the results here.   

       In the meantime, if any of you have a turtle, give him a gentle scratch and see how he reacts.
FloridaManatee, May 18 2003
  

       We had two red-eared sliders, Max and Melissa, who both absolutely hated being touched, let alone tickled. (Don't worry about the "had" - our baby sitter was lonely when she moved, so my son gave her the turtles to keep her company.)
DrCurry, May 18 2003
  

       Sorry to hear about your experience, [DrCurry]. I'll provide a link to care tips. I think red-eared sliders and red-eared terrapins are the same.   

       Over the decades, they do get used to human contact. In fact, our female prefers our attention to that of the male, who invariable tries to chew her eyeballs out in a perverse act of love whenever they are permitted to meet. By comparison, when my brother was a kid, she locked onto his finger tip and it was touch and go to see if his flesh, her neck or the bite would be the first to go.   

       No doubt your babysitter's grandchildren will have themselves a lovely pair of turtles.   

       In the meantime, they'll be like a combination between a pair of scalpel blades, a mold-grip and a Tazmanian Devil with laryngitis.
FloridaManatee, May 19 2003
  

       Thanks for the links [Steve DeGroof]. I'm also considering a cut-out made from a 555-timer and a latch.   

       He's never, ever been the one to want to break off the scratching first and I don't want to let him wear through his carapace.
FloridaManatee, May 19 2003
  

       Manatee: our turtles only ever nipped, and then usually because they were just missing whatever we were feeding them (they especially loved earthworms). But I'll tell you my uncle's story: he grew up in Africa, where the local turtles were no bigger than a few inches at most. When the family moved to America, he went to the nearest stream to find some new pets, doing what he was accustomed to doing in Africa, taking off shoes and socks and wading into the water. He was puzzled that he couldn't see any turtles swimming about, until he realized that the boulders on the bottom of the stream were not boulders, but (alligator snapping) turtles. He was out of that stream as fast as he could jump.
DrCurry, May 19 2003
  

       Wow, you see those type of terrapins alot in florida. Every small pond has atleast 10. Many do not like contact and will try to bite anything that gets near them. The soft shells will allow you to pick them up atleast to put them over the curb or into the nearest pond with out any trouble. The soft shells being almost completely aquatic have the most problems crossing the roads including getting over the curbs.   

       I'm happy you have made good pets FloridaManatee.
sartep, May 19 2003
  

       Dag, you saw an snapping turtle. It's not a popular pet by any means. Yet, some humans make them into pets. Go figure. I don't know where you live but in Florida snapping turtles can be bigger than ones from other areas.
sartep, May 19 2003
  

       It sounds like an alligator snapping turtle or atleast the size of one. If so it would have bony plates on its head. Yes, I believe you, those suckers are powerful and your story can be backed up by thousands of other people. You are really lucky to still have your toes.
sartep, May 19 2003
  
      
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