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What, if any, survival advantages could a testudine gain from evolving a bipedal stance, either permanently or temporarily? Essentially, is there a factor that would have to be introduced for this trait to evolve?

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    $\begingroup$ You mean like the Ninja Turtles? How heavy is their shell, exactly where its their center of gravity? Where is their hip joint? If their center of gravity is not positioned over their back two feet, they can not have a bipedal stance. If they can not push their front up with enough force to get their center of gravity over their back beet, they can not get into a bipedal stance. They have no mechanical advantage to do so. So your question would become 'what are the evolutionary advantages of a turtle going through a radical enough evolutionary change to allow it to have a bipedal stance?. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Oct 8 '17 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ i have the shell back heavy. the proportions are similar to a prosauropod, also the way they flip from bipedal to quadrupedal $\endgroup$ – Dibran Joe Oct 9 '17 at 19:23
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Vertical reach is the main advantage of a bipedal stance, as such I would say that an environment wherein food was relatively scarce at ground level would force a more upright body form. So an environmental shift from grassland to forest, for example, would elevate food sources and favour an upright stance.

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    $\begingroup$ Turtles don't reach with their feet. They use their mouths. It would increase their vertical range of their mouths, however. But a loner neck would also do his. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Oct 8 '17 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ A longer neck compromises the protection offered by the shell though, as it makes it harder to retract the head into the shell when threatened. I know not all turtles and tortoises can do that, but the longer the neck, the more will stick out. $\endgroup$ – Joseph Rogers Oct 8 '17 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ A forest with flocks of predator/scavenger type birds, perhaps? It might be enough of a push to make the tortoises not stick their necks out... $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 9 '17 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ well the neck is long as well, but i have it retractable. and some snapping turtles can extend/ retract their neck extremely fast $\endgroup$ – Dibran Joe Oct 9 '17 at 19:16

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