If you're a turtle what can you do with a long set of claws? Digging, defending, mating, eating & sheltering. If you've never before noticed the length of some turtles' claws, look at these! This yellow-belied slider (Trachemys scripta) uses its claws for all the previously mentioned purposes and more. Some turtle species have a ritual mating 'dance' in the water that involves the male stroking the female's face with his claws and then vibrating the long claws. I guess you'd have to be a turtle to understand why that would be attractive.
Endangered Species Act