Today I just randomly thought of Yoshi, and then suddenly have a feeling that the red thingy on the back of Yoshi looks like a shell. A simple Google search did result in some random links of people arguing whether that is a shell or a saddle.

However, Google search didn't get anything conclusive. Are there any strong evidences or canonical answers (e.g. from Nintendo) which perhaps unluckily didn't show up in Google search?

Here is an image on the Yoshi page on Wikipedia which I think that red thingy on his back really seems to resemble a shell:

(source: wikimedia.org)

  • 2
    note to all the close votes, there is no speculation here as the director of the video game has given a response to what Yoshi has on his back.
    – l I
    Sep 12, 2013 at 22:47
  • I did this simple Google search you mention, and was blown away to find that there are people out there who thought it was a saddle. Learn something new every day. I would have thought simply looking at him would constitute "strong evidences or canonical answers" that it's a shell.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 5, 2016 at 1:34
  • 4
    A game development question isn't on-topic because it's answerable. It's still off-topic.
    – Frank
    Jan 9, 2017 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


The answer appears to be a shell used as a saddle.

"Yoshi was originally supposed to be a type of Koopa. That saddle you see on his back was actually his shell." —Super Mario World Director Takashi Tezuka, Super Mario History

Cite Source from Takashi Tezuka according to MarioWiki


It's a shell because ... Yoshi wears the same shoes as koopa, has the same back scales as koopa, has the same look as koopa, so the only missing thing is the shell!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .