This might be the slowest yet most shocking hunt ever caught on camera!
The fascinating video recently surfaced on Reddit, showcasing a giant tortoise exhibiting predatory behavior towards a baby bird. This footage is the first recorded instance of “deliberate hunting” in any tortoise species, according to a report published in the journal Current Biology.
The surprising video depicts a female Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) pursuing a young bird known as a lesser noddy tern (Anous tenuirostris), which had likely fallen from its nest in a nearby tree.
Anna Zora, the island’s deputy conservation and sustainability manager, captured the footage while surveying seabird populations on Frégate Island in the Seychelles archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast.
The tortoise’s pursuit of the bird lasted for about 90 seconds, with the chick pecking at the approaching tortoise in vain while stumbling backward on the log and flapping its wings. Unfortunately, the bird’s decision to stay put on the log proved fatal, as the tortoise clamped its beak around the bird’s head, killing it instantly. From the first approach to the bird’s death, the interaction lasted a total of seven minutes, as documented by the study authors.
While this behavior may seem unusual, it is worth noting that tortoises have been observed eating small animals such as insects and carrion in the wild.
This incredible footage provides insight into the hunting behavior of a species not typically associated with predatory behavior. As we continue to learn more about the diverse and fascinating behaviors of wildlife, it is essential to remember that there is always more to discover, even in the most seemingly familiar species.
NOTE: This article was assisted by an AI engine and was reviewed, verified, and revised by our editorial staff.