"Tortuga Tune Up" is the fifteenth episode of the second season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on August 21, 2013. Overall, it is the 55th episode of the series. The episode was written and directed by Martin Kratt.
In this episode, Aviva is disappointed by the fact that the Tortuga, which is modeled after the turtle, is unable to swim, so the Kratt brothers dive down into the Caribbean Sea to find sea turtles for inspiration.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers dive down into the water to find sea turtles. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
The Wild Kratts are each doing their own thing on a beach in the Caribbean Sea, when Aviva comes out the Tortuga and kicks its feet. The Kratt brothers notice and ask her what is wrong, and she responds by saying that something is wrong with the Tortuga. The Kratt brothers disagree, and they show her some of its capabilities and how much it resembles the characteristics of several species of turtle and tortoise. Then Koki joins the conversation, noting that the Tortuga can not swim, and Aviva finds out that that is what they should do: modify the Tortuga so that it can swim. The crew decides to explore sea turtles for inspiration.
The Kratt brothers dive down into the water, miniaturize, and wait for a sea turtle to swim by them. A grouper chases them into a sea sponge, and then, a hawksbill sea turtle eats the sponge. After it finishes eating, the brothers latch onto its back as it swims. As the brothers continue hanging on, they tell Aviva about their observations while she retrofits the Tortuga. After heading up for air and diving down again, a tiger shark attacks the sea turtle. The turtle turns its shell against the mouth of the tiger shark, leading Martin to name the sea turtle Shield. To prevent further attacks, Shield hides in a narrow cave. Aviva then calls and says that the Tortuga's new design is done. Shield and the Kratt brothers leave the vicinity of the cave, the brothers return to normal size, and they resurface. Jimmy gets ready to start the Tortuga but accidentally flings the ignition key into the water. To retrieve the key without getting injured from an attack by the tiger shark, Aviva makes Sea Turtle Discs for the Kratt brothers. They dive down and activate their Creature Power Suits with Sea Turtle Power, where they find the key hanging on a spiny crab. Martin distracts the tiger shark, while Chris takes the key off the crab. The two resurface afterwards, and at the end, Jimmy turns on the Tortuga and takes the Wild Kratts for an underwater swim.
The show transitions into the ending live action segment. The Kratt brothers dive down into the water to take another close look at sea turtles. Afterwards, the Kratt brothers conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- Slender Seahorse: Ocean Pony
- Tiger Shark
- West Indian spider crab (called Spiny crab)
- Atlantic Goliath Grouper (called Grouper)
- Northern Red Snapper
- Flathead Grey Mullet
- Stove-pipe sponge (called Sponge)
- Grooved brain coral (called Brain coral)
- Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse
- Green Breasted Mango
- Plumed Basilisk
Note: Mentioned animals are linked to Wikipedia.
Note: Live action animals are linked to Wikipedia.
- Box turtle
- Leopard tortoise
- Spotted turtle (called Spotted terrapin)
- Painted turtle
- Florida softshell turtle (called Florida softshell)
- Leatherback sea turtle (called Leatherback)
Note: Live action animals are linked to Wikipedia.
- Olive ridley sea turtle
- Sea fan
- Regal tang
- Green sea turtle
- Hermit crab
- Drum fish
- Trigger fish
- Spotted eagle ray
Key Facts and Creature Moments
- The shell of the hawksbill is flatter and incredibly streamlined, so the water flows past it easily as it swims.
- With a shell like this, a sea turtle can go on a marathon swim of hundreds and hundreds of miles, or sprints up to 15 miles per hours.
- The front flippers power the turtle's swim by pumping up and down, and the rear flippers provide the steering.
- A turtle can stay underwater for a long time: about 10 minutes for a high action dive, and up to 40 minutes for a low action dive, but always has to come up for air.
- The hawksbill turtle breaths from nostrils at the top of its snout.
- A sea turtle defends himself against predators like tiger sharks with its shell by suing it like a shield.
- Based on size, tiger shark jaws are even stronger than the great white shark's jaws.
- Another great defense for the hawksbill sea turtle is hiding in the reef. That's why hawksbills are reef turtles, so they can use the coral reef structure to feed them and hide them.
- The live-action video of the Florida softshell (actually a spiny softshell turtle) was recycled footage from the Kratt brother's previous PBS Kids show Zoboomafoo (specifically about the softshell turtle Pancake from the episode "Swimming").
- The Tortuga was previously seen submerged in Stuck on Sharks, though this renovation meant the Tortuga can move underwater now.