TWITTER users were horrified to learn a common misconception that had a much more shocking reality.
“Daily reminder that turtles are not ‘inside’ their shells,” the tweet read. “They *are* their shells.”
Many users were shocked to hear the information, sharing GIFs and pictures to express their emotions.
Turtles and tortoises are the only animals to have shells that are part of their bodies, according to EveryReptiles.com.
“Shells are important to the survival of all turtles, and pet species are no different,” the website read.
“They provide protection and support many biological processes in a turtle’s body.”
There are two main parts to a turtle shell, the carapace, which is the top part that many consider the turtle’s back.
The second part is the plastron, which is the bottom part considered the turtle’s belly.
Shells are used to protect the turtle’s vital organs and make it harder for predators to bite them, even if they have strong jaws.
It’s still unclear how a turtle’s shell evolved, according to science but it has been debated several times how and why the animals have them.
It was originally believed that a turtle shell was the extension of the animal’s backbone and ribs, however, it was discovered that it’s also part of their skeleton.
Since the shell is an important part of a turtle’s basic survival, it’s very likely that the animal could not survive a few minutes or even seconds without it.
The shell contains nerve endings and bones needed for survival, meaning the turtle can feel it you touch its shell.
“Whoa, I can’t believe I’ve never learned this before,” wrote one Twitter user.
However, another could not accept the information: “My entire life is a lie.”
“They really should talk to the people making cartoons,” joked another person. “I have been gravely misinformed in my youth…”