How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Turtles: It's Probably Not What You Think!

Okay, so the title may be slightly misleading ... The truth is we will probably never know if Tony's intent that day was to save the world or not... or if his name is really Tony, for that matter. It very well could have been Tony's plot to execute a violent takeover of a central American government. So many things in life we just don't know. What we do know, however, is that sometimes we need a hero in a half-shell swimming around looking all cute set to the tune of a cover of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". That much is certain. 

This video was pieced together with some clips from diving at Utila, Honduras over several days in the summer of 2014. Accompanying Tony are some spotted eagle rays, flounder, Kevin, Dori-fish voiced by Ellen Degeneres, and some other fun marine wildlife. See if you can spot the plesiosaur! 

FUN FACT: While we don't know if Tony is the turtle's real name, we do know that it is not Toni, or Antonia, or even Antoniaderianella. We know this because this turtle is definitely a male. How do we know? Well, I took a swim below Tony and had a peek at his undercarriage.... JK.. Actually, one of the easiest ways to tell a male Hawksbill turtle (or any turtle, for that matter) from a female is the presence of a small claw on either of the front flippers. The claw is used to hook on to the female carapace and assist with a smooth mating process. So, while the claw may be useful in some circumstances, it does not hold a candle to the versatility and utility of having an opposable thumb, which is probably why Tony decided to swim peacefully through the water this fine day rather than stage a coup to overthrow any governments. So the morale of the story is that we should all be glad that turtles don't have thumbs.