How smart are turtles and tortoises ?

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A lot smarter than snakes. Turtles can learn a lot of little things and routines, given enough time and food rewards. Turtles are creatures of habit - they don't like change at all. If they live in a stable environment, they will learn where to get food and that it comes from the refrigerator, where their water dish is, where their favorite pooping place is (and you can put paper there), and that you are the source of good things. The latter can result in a turtle that will follow you around the room or the yard in order to coax you into scratching its head or giving it food. One person informed me, that his wood turtles are potty trained, will walk up to the frige if they are hungry, and go to the bathroom and sit in front of the tub until they get the bath they desire. All my water turtles know that food comes from the kitchen, and they also can tell fingers from food quite easily, if they want to. I believe, some turtles have a concept of fun/play, i.e. doing something of no ... more
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