I am... a tortoise, technically. Turtles live in water more than on land, and tortoises are the reverse. Don't ask me why that matters, but it does.
So, you can be outraged by medical billing practices (and if you aren't, VOx has an article on "Zuckerberg" San Fran GEneral that is frankly sick-making, as the ER is not in any insurance network so if you're brought in by ambulance, tough shit on you for having private insurance...)
Or you can read my ramble about tortoises. Yeah, I prefer tortoises too. But as a side note, teh article alleges 20 percent of us end up with surprise bills due to out-of-network doctors working at an in-network hospital, whereas about only 1 percent get nailed for out -of-network *hospital*. Zucks San Fran Gen apparently isn't in any private insurance network, at all. And it's the only Level One trauma center in the city itself, if the article is right. Yeah. You get to pay for the helicopter ride outo f pocket. If you don't, collections agencies hound you.
Meanwhile, ERs have upped the ante by finagling regs so that primary care docs can't treat your sprain --- it's not allowed in my state, for exdample, for prmary care doctors to "prescribe" a splint or sling. They also aren't allowed ot set broken fingers and toes and noses. (Which, for the most part, are a pretty straight up yank-ice-tape job. Yes, I know that. Ouch.)
So, yeah, TORTOISES! :-)
Technically,a tortoise isa turtle, bu tit's the terrestrial turtle. I am among the few, the proud, the old-school "tortoise" users. Whatever, I know, I know. Nerdy Leo, no surprise.
A turtle lives in water --- thus webbed feet or flipper=feet.
A tortoise lives on land --- dry little clawed feet.
A terrapin --- for those in the UK, where that term probably comes up far more often than in most of the US --- is in the same biological family but lives in/out of water about equally.
Turtles are *all* reptiles. Not amphibians.
The first turtle-like critters known from fossils date back about 280 Million years. Yep. Million. Theyr'e among the few types of creatures to survive the worst-ever mass extinction on Planet Earth (end Permian, about 250-252 million years ago, as the individual paleontologist prefers).
The earliest for-sure turtle has a fossil dated to about 260 million years ago (whoa), and lacked the characteristic shell, but was onl its way. It was named Eunotosaurus africanus, and its broad ribs probably helped it with stability, but its plates weren't yet bony, as the classic turtle shell now is. That happened much later, but what it had worked --- turtles and ancestors thereof survived when 90 percent of all else died in the big extinction at the end of the Permian period. As in, if you had to be around on the planet, that was *the* worst time to be a living critter *ever*. Right after came the rise of the dinosaurs, so also not a great time for a mammal of any kind, btw.
Interesting to note, modern turtles have their shoulder blades INSIDE their ribs, thus their limited mobility. THeir ancestors didn't always have that, but were still turtles. (Why, you ask? B/c the same reason an ostrict can't fly but is still a bird. It takes more than one trait to decide what "family" of critters something belongs to, and all else was turtle-esque.) So, at one point, turtles were around who can actually do some moving! :-)
Back in the day, the turtles were burrowing reptiles, among other things. Thus, they needed protection from above (hence the big ribs and other structures that evolved before the modern "shell" developed too), and were fairly nimble by comparison to the turtles we know and love or loathe today.
Turtles today are among the world's longest-lived creatures, wtih many species living between 80-150 years.
Blame google. The doodle is dinosaur-related.
And on that note, may you have a shell-sheltered day:-)
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