Going High-Tech

Do you see what I see? NO! I'm not pregnant. Pardon me while I hate you for a few minutes. Although that was my husband's first assumption, too. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him since I showed him this pic...

What do you see in the photo above? EGGS! Well, technically follicles. They won’t be actual shelled eggs until after fertilization occurs. Three of them are clearly visible in this ultrasound. That’s right, I said ultrasound. They’re not just for mammals anymore. Oh, did I mention who was having the procedure?

Meet Patches.

I thought MY ultrasounds were a drag, but I was never suspended from a bucket. 4th time's the charm, right? NO! I'm really not pregnant. Just messing with you.

Patches is a female Aldabra tortoise. Given her size, it’s safe to assume she’s at least 80 years old, but who knows for sure? She was wild-caught, so she is likely even older than that. Think that’s old? Meet her suitor.

Please ignore my squinty eye. Either I am pretending I'm a pirate, or the flash was incredibly bright. Focus on my pal Al.

This is Big Al. He’s around 150. I love this tortoise, and I’ve been working on a Gal-Pal-For-Al campaign for several years now, so here we go. If Al can get the job done, we’ll have some of these in a few months:

Look at how tiny! And it's 6 months old in this picture! This was taken six years ago, and they're bigger than basketballs now. Another 15 years, and they might be big enough to breed!

Fingers crossed!


53 thoughts on “Going High-Tech

  1. I think tortoises are so amazing. I want a baby tortoise. What is it about baby animals?
    (Sorry this comment is so schizophrenic.)

  2. Very cool. We have some of the same kind of tortoises at the science center near our house. They are not nearly as old but very big. We love to watch them. They’re so sweet.

  3. Okay, you got me. I thought the ultrasound looked a little weird, but, hey, I’m no good at reading those anyway. And then I got to “shelled”, but I assumed that must be some medical term that I was unfamiliar with.

  4. That’s AMAZING!!! I lived for a time in Palm Bay, Florida which has a Loggerhead preserve. It’s incredible to me that they can live so long since it’s so hard for them just to survive the first twenty-four hours of life.

  5. I will have you know that my first thought was not that you were pregnant. At first, I actually thought you were being funny and took an ultrasound of your stomach after you swallowed an entire box of marshmallow Peeps. 😉 All kidding aside, congrats on the new “kids!”

      • For a second there, I thought YOU had managed it! I was looking at that picture in awe of you! I would be tempted to try it as well, except I would probably choke and kill myself… a tragic death by peeps!

  6. As a friend and defender of women, I’m asking you to please refrain from mentioning anything again about having an ultrasound while suspended from a bucket – some state legislature might make a law that makes this a mandatory medical procedure…

    A squinty eye? No need to be shy… I don’t mind if you were winking at me. 🙂

  7. I’ve told you this before and I’ll say it again–you have the coolest job. You look adorable with those tortoises. I am really awestruck just looking at the pictures. I can’t imagine being in person with them. Way to go!

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