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|Out of universe information|
Turtles are a species of non-sentient reptilian animals from Earth. In 2006, after the Lanteans reclaimed Atlantis, Dr. Carson Beckett believed he would stay on Earth indefinitely and bought a few baby turtles, because he worked too much for a dog, and was allergic to cats. However, during a plan to take back Atlantis from the Asurans, Beckett remembered that he left them behind, and feared that they would starve to death. (SGA: "The Return, Part 1")
Since Beckett's death, Dr. Rodney McKay looked after his turtles in his quarters, and named them Jeffrey and Michelle. Jeffrey liked to eat shredded carrot, while Michelle preferred to gnaw on a cuttlebone. The clone of Beckett wanted to take the turtles with him before traveling the Pegasus galaxy. However, when he learned McKay grew attached to them, he decided to let McKay keep them. (SGA: "Whispers")