“I’ve put so much time and effort into my stand-up videos,” says Philly comedian Jamie Pappas. “But of course the turtles I post are the ones that get the most attention.”
Like many Philadelphia residents, a 29-year-old stand-up comedian Jamie Pappas I woke up on Saturday morning determined to go out and enjoy the glorious weather. So he left his home in South Philly and drove to Heinz Wildlife Refuge, where he goes to observe birds almost every weekend. But this Saturday, it wasn’t the fine-grained friends that caught his eye. One turtle slapped another. Repeatedly.
Of course, Pappas took out his phone to document this funny behavior on video. She posted the video with the turtle’s palms on Twitter. And because people on social media like to watch animals doing funny things, the filming has gone viral.
Since Monday morning, the video (seen below) has garnered 3.4 million views, nearly 59,000 retweets and over 358,000 likes on Twitter.
“I’ve put so much time and effort into my stand-up videos,” Pappas told Philly Mag on Monday morning. “But, of course, the turtles I post are the ones that attract all the attention … Of course, slapping seems to be a thing nowadays. Very stylish. ”
Once a comedian, always a comedian.
And what about this turtle palm business? Well, it turns out that this is the mating season for these hard-shelled reptiles, and slapping is part of a yard dance, says Heinz Wildlife Refuge biologist Garrett White.
“This video shows two turtles painted by the East in a backyard show,” explains White. “The man is the one who does the ‘slapping’.”
The turtle comes first, says White. Then comes the sex of the turtle. Then nesting. And then a lot of turtle chicks.
According to White, the theory behind slapping and other behaviors you see in the video is that the male is trying to show the female turtle her overall fitness, her ability to maneuver in the water, and that she has beautiful claws. Because who doesn’t want beautiful claws in a sexual partner?