3 March 2021

Turtles As Pets

By Nicole Walker

Turtles are members of the Order Chelonia or Testudines which are semi-aquatic reptiles belonging to the family Testudines which also consist of crocodiles. They are distinguished by a broad bony or cartilage shell usually developed from their sternum which serves as a protective shield. In the freshwater turtles the upper portion of the shell separates from the lower one and these turtles are commonly known as the wet-land turtles. The saltwater turtles have a different arrangement in the upper portion of the shell, which is called the plastron.

The most commonly found turtles are the terrestrial species, which are found in fresh water and may be found in rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, etc. These turtles lay eggs in nests which they construct under the water or on vegetation. The female sea turtles lay eggs in baskets, which are then carried to a shore for fertilization by males. When the eggs have been fertilized the female lays eggs once again, this cycle continuing until the clutch is weaned.

Usually, these turtles lay eggs in nests that are constructed in rough sand under a tree or in moist sand where they can hide until the next breeding season which is usually in April. During this period they travel from one place to another to look for a suitable nest and when they find it they begin to lay eggs. They lay eggs in varied sizes depending on the age and weight of the mother. These eggs remain in the nest for the following two or three weeks, after which the young turtles swim out to meet their parents. The parents take care of their young by feeding them with milk which contains chicken proteins, vitamins and minerals, and also by protecting them from predators.

From the description above it is apparent that the most common turtle is the terrestrial species which includes the red eared slider, Atlantic green sea turtle, and the leather back tortoise. Terrestrial species generally stay close to the shore and feed on vegetation, whereas aquatic species mostly remain in shallow water, but occasionally go to the ocean to prey on fish. The land turtles are considered to be the most widespread in the world in terms of numbers although they are far outnumbered by the marine species. The leather back turtle is by far the most popular turtle amongst pet owners as it is quite easy to keep and care for and its beautiful coloration appeals to most people. These turtles are also very intelligent and inquisitive, which makes them entertaining companions.

It is also quite popular to have turtles as pets because they are so versatile and diverse which enables you to experiment with different species to find the one you like best. Since there are so many turtle species, it can become difficult to choose the right one. In general, however, they are all hardy and feed well on meat, vegetables, and fruits. You can buy live food for your turtle, which will enable you to give them a well-balanced diet, and also keep them away from dangerous parasites and bacteria. However, before you purchase any live food make sure to do some research to ensure that the foods you buy are safe for your turtle and will not cause them harm.

Some types of turtles are considered to be more dangerous than others including the red eared slider turtle, which is considered to be the most dangerous because it has a sharp jaw that can catch its prey and pull it into its mouth. They have large claws and hence they can damage things easily but they also have a powerful bite force, which can cause some damage even to the most lightly protected things like suitcases. Another species of turtle that is slightly less aggressive is the tortoise which usually makes an attempt to look like other smaller animals such as fish, frogs and crabs. Their shell cover is basically a defense mechanism that they use to hide from predators but when threatened their natural instinct of self-protection means that they will open their shell and sting the person that threatens them.