Anyone who’s enjoyed the scenic beauty of a placid river, lake, or pond has undoubtedly also seen turtles sunning themselves on sunken logs, etc. This usually takes place in the morning and late afternoon - presumably because the turtles need the most warming at these times (after the chill of the night [insert music] and when day is done) - but they also sun themselves during the day.
Frequently the turtles will cluster around a particularly choice rock or fallen log. Such places often have many turtles crammed into the space available. So many, in fact, that they often climb on top of each other.
Now that we’ve set the scene, here’s my question: Why do the turtles tolerate their (I assume) competitors crawling on them and blocking the light? More particularly, why do large turtles tolerate smaller turtles crawling on top of them? I’ve seen big, bad mofo turtles with little pipsqueak turtles perched right in the middle of their carapaces - why don’t the big turtles just pitch the others off? If you’re competing for space in the sun, then why take guff from some shrimp turtle who wants your light?