Oxford, UK: Have you ever wondered what would happen if a tortoise was stuck on its back? The results of a new study led by Prof. Colin Killmore, Professor of Pseudoscience at Oxford University, show conclusively that the tortoise would eventually die.
"By placing a sample set of one hundred tortoises onto their backs within a controlled environment we were able to observe what happened over a period of twenty days, and remarkably at the end of that period all one hundred of the tortoises were dead." Explains Professor Killmore.
"We had some initial teething problems when it became apparent that many of the tortoises were able to right themselves by rocking their bodies, or by pushing their legs against a nearby surface such as the wall of the experimentation area. This problem was overcome by simply glueing the tortoises to the floor so that they were unable to right themselves no matter how much they wiggled their little legs in the air.
"After only a few minutes we noted that the tortoises struggled to breathe, due to the weight of their internal organs pressing down on their lungs, which are located at the top of their shells. This was quickly exacerbated by stress as the tortoises entered a prolonged period of panic on realising that they were unable to right their bodies.
"In some cases the effects of dehydration could be observed after only a few hours, and none of the tortoises even came close to surviving the twenty day period, even when we repeated the experiment with another one hundred tortoises."
Prof. Killmore concludes that "this was a vitally important experiment as many species of tortoise, including those used, are critically endangered, and we now know for certain that glueing them onto their backs will only bring them closer to extinction."