South American Spinner Turtle

Guess what finally came in the mail? My newest pet, who I have named Top. Top came from The Amazon, and he’s a South American Spinner Turtle.

Never heard of a South American Spinner Turtle? Neither had I! But they’re really cool. I did some research online, and it was tough, I’ll be honest. There wasn’t much information about them, but there was a site dedicated to just the species. (That’s also where the link to the Amazon listing was. How lucky is that?) On there, I learned about their diet, their behavior (super interesting and I’ll get back to that), their history. Apparently, they were discovered back in the 1600s by Spanish explorers in the jungles of South America. Ponce de Leon was the first to see them, spinning in a field, and he instantly sentenced them to death for heresy, as turtles back in Europe do not spin on their backs, and neither should the turtles of India. It wasn’t India anyway, but he didn’t know that.

But about that spinning, that’s the really cool thing about the South American Spinner Turtle. They spin. Like, on their back, really fast, flipping over and kicking their legs to spin around and around and around on the top of their shell. That’s why I named my new turtle Top. According to that site, they only spin when they feel threatened though (They knew what Ponce would do. They knew). My Top has loved me as soon as I opened the box and first pulled him out though, he hasn’t spun once. I appreciate that he likes me and feels comfortable with me, but I admit it would be nice if he’d spin on his own some so I could show him off. So far I’ve had to do it myself. He doesn’t like the flipping part; he tries so hard, whipping his little legs and arms back and forth, trying to right himself, but he does seem to like the spinning part. Once I give him a good twirl, he tucks all his arms and legs into his shell to spin as fast as possible, and he stays like that for a while, just enjoying the experience.

So far, my experience has been great, even if Top likes me a little too much. Maybe next time I have someone over, I’ll see if I can scare Top a little, get him to spin himself without my help. Not Jacob though. When Jacob came over to see Top, we got in an argument over what Top was. Jake said he was actually a tortoise, due to the fact that he lifts himself off the ground to walk and has a tall round shell. I said Jacob was wrong and Top was obviously a turtle, due to the fact that he's a South American Spinner Turtle: it's even in the name. Besides, Top ran away when I tried to get him to spin for Jacob, so he doesn't like him either.