When scientists collect or observe animals in the wild, it sometimes can be extremely challenging to identify their sex. But a group of researchers recently found an innovative and relatively simple way to determine the sex of turtles in the field, coaxing reluctant males into, um, revealing themselves, through the judicious application of a vibrator.
They put four turtle species to a new and titillating test, applying their turtle tickler — a 7-inch-long (18 centimeters), handheld vibrator — to the nether regions of western chicken turtles (Deirochelys reticularia miaria), Mississippi mud turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis), common musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus) and spiny softshell turtles (Apalone spinifera).
And while there were varying degrees of success between the species, the researchers reported in a new study that plenty of the turtle males obligingly rose to the occasion.
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