I've just read this story about a tortoise that lost a good portion of its shell in a forest fire here in Brazil and got a 3D-printed prostheses.

Here's the picture of it:

turtle shell repair

The way it looks like, it seems there were no bones fused with the shell, and that the shell was just a thin layer hovering over its body below, like the bones were entirely contained inside the body and you could just remove the shell.

What really happened here?

Were all the bones burned until they all fell off?

Wasn't the spine supposed to be there to?

How could this be even survivable?

Or maybe in this species the shell is not fused with the bones?


  • $\begingroup$ The shell has several layers. I believe this specimen has lost the kreatin scutes (very painful!) and the inner layer that has become visible is the bone layer. $\endgroup$
    – Roland
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 10:36


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