How to know the age of a turtle?


On this page about reptiles

The turtles they are reptiles of the order of the testudines, also called Chelonia (quelonios), their most peculiar note is to have the body wrapped in a shell.

They have a certain period of hibernation. They are oviparous, that is, they reproduce by eggs, There are different varieties, which have been adapted to their particular habitat, so we have land, sea, freshwater, even semi-aquatic turtles, the latter have, depending on the genus that belongs, membranes or, where appropriate, fins that enable it to swim.

Water turtle housing

It is important that both the fish tank and the aquarium where we intend to have the water turtle meet certain characteristics such as dimensions, since we must take into account that they will grow. It is always advisable to live more than one turtle so that they have more sociability and the possibility of relating.

In addition to the very important area of ​​water, which will be where they will spend most of their time, these reptiles must be able to have a space of land where they can rest and sunbathe.

Regarding the water or pool space, it must be deep enough so that animals can swim comfortably, something vital for this species and that contributes significantly to good health. The ideal depth of the aquarium should be approximately 1.5 or 2 times the length of the turtle.

It is essential that they receive a good amount of daily light, so if the aquarium does not have it, it will be necessary to acquire lamps that provide that light and that help the healthy development of these reptiles.

Like many fish, they will require that the water temperature be around 28ºC, this can be easily achieved with a special water heater, many have a thermometer incorporated so that the temperature is maintained in optimal conditions.

The filter systems of the ponds where the chelonium inhabits must be very effective, since the animal will defecate in the water and can be a source of diseases for these animals. Live plants can help absorb dirt.

As for the outside temperature, it should not fall below 23º C. If the same environment cannot provide it, we will have to resort to a heating lamp.

In addition, these animals must have areas where to rest, dry and sunbathe.

Water turtle feeding

The feeding of this type of reptile is very varied, they can get to eat a variety of foods. Due to their great gluttony, they can digest what they are given, but this must be monitored, since they should only be nourished with quality food, in order to cover their nutritional needs in a balanced way. When they are young they should eat 3 times a day, while adults should limit their diet to 4 per week. Your ideal diet goes through commercial feed pellets, specific for semi-aquatic turtles, should contain only 10% fat. Small live fish and earthworms can serve as a supplementary diet. Dried shrimp or Krill should be avoided, in any case they should only be used as occasional treats.

Water turtle reproduction

If they are kept in optimal conditions and in a space that does not reduce their natural habits, many copies can be easily reproduced. They reach sexual maturity around five years. Mating occurs inside the water, once fertilized and after four weeks, the female lays her eggs in the ground, the number depends on the species, although the average ranges between five and 15 eggs. It is advisable to transfer them to an incubator, we will keep them at a temperature not lower than 28º. Hatching occurs over three months from the start. The little ones will need water and soil to survive, also a balanced diet is important for the good development of small turtles.

Water turtle health

The cleanliness of the environment in which they live, the reception of light and good food will be the keys to good health of our chelonia. And with regard to your health, preventing fungi from appearing in your shell is one of the missions of your care. A little common salt every 20 liters of water can help avoid it.

Among the most frequent pathologies that can be seen in these animals are eye problems, lack of vitamins, respiratory diseases, parasites and problems related to the digestive tract.

An annual check-up with the trusted veterinarian is practically essential. General physical examination and deworming will be the priorities.

Ground Turtle Housing

Land turtles they require a space wide enough to move comfortably. This is an important point if we want to have our land turtle in a closed terrarium. The terrarium floor must be filled with a large particle substrate to avoid being eaten. Similarly it should be easy to clean.

The use of substrate is much more advisable than sand, earth or natural foliage, since they are much more difficult to clean compounds.

Like almost all turtle species, those on land will also require excellent exposure to light, as well as a very balanced ambient temperature and humidity according to their requirements. When they do not receive direct sunlight, it is advisable to use special lamps or heat sources.

During the hibernation season you will be without eating or moving, you will simply sleep. Despite this state, you should never miss a bowl of cold water. When they don't hibernate, they need to walk and stay active.

Feeding land turtles

The food must have a high fiber content, provided by grasses, brightly colored flowers, vegetables, fruits and even some varieties can occasionally feed on worms and insects. Multivitamin supplements are always recommended but without excess. The lack of vitamins and light is the cause of multiple diseases, including kidney and nutritional hyperparathyroidism.

Land turtle reproduction

When a male and a female coexist, there are chances of mating during the mating season. Coupling and fertility will depend on light and weather conditions. These animals reach their sexual maturity from the age of seven. Gestation usually lasts between 8 and 9 weeks. The number of eggs depends on the type of turtle, although the average ranges between 2 and 10 eggs. The female develops the laying inside the earth. It is advisable to have an incubator for the transfer of eggs. The temperature that we must maintain depends on the species, however, it should not be less than 28º. About 70 days the turtles will begin to be born, which must remain a long time in a terrarium. A balanced diet with plant supplements will help to maintain optimal health conditions.

Land Turtle Health

In general, Being a wild animal, not entirely domestic, health and well-being will depend on our ability to condition your home habitat in the most similar way possible to the natural one.

Among the most frequent diseases are stomach problems, parasites, jaw overgrowth in some specimens, respiratory diseases and lack of vitamins. For any symptoms, a visit to the veterinarian is essential.

Taxonomic information of the turtles

Kingdom: Animals, animals

Subreino: Eumetazoa, Eumetazoa

Edge: Chordata, chordates

Subfilo: Vertebrata, vertebrates

Class: Reptilia, reptiles

Order: Testudines or quelonios

Suborder: Cryptodira and Pleurodira

Characteristics of land turtles

The tortoise is one of the quieter and quieter animals that can be had as a pet. They are characterized by a long and wide neck that can stretch and contract with great ease and agility. Thanks to this and the shell, they are able to hide when they feel threatened. In addition, land turtles can regulate their body temperature depending on the outside environment. In this sense, when cold temperatures occur they hide underground and significantly reduce their activity.

Land turtles they have no teeth, its mouth is composed of a kind of beak with very strong jaws that they use to process their food, composed of plants and insects. Calcium is one of the most important nutrients in your diet, as it strengthens the shell, so it is very important to provide it as a pet.

Characteristics of sea turtles

Sea turtles encompass several species of different sizes, shapes and colors. Like the terrestrial, they have a large shell, they have no visible teeth or ears, but covered by the skin, with which they are able to hear low frequencies. Your body isaerodynamic, which allows you to move with great agility into the sea. In addition, they have an excellent view underwater.

The sea turtle diet consists of algae, molluscs, crustaceans, fish and corals, which provide them with the energy needed to develop and strengthen their shell. Despite being solitary animals they have few predators.

Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water, so it is very difficult to know how old they are, although it is estimated that they can live more than 100 years. However, to know the age of sea and land turtles there are several ways, which we explain below.

How to know the age of a turtle?

If you adopted a turtle from birth, it will be very easy to know its age. However, this only happens in some cases. If you volunteer at a wildlife protection center and find a turtle or several specimens live in the center, they are most likely not sure of each other's age.

If you identify with any of these cases or are simply curious to know how the age of a turtle is calculated, then we explain several ways.

Shell Lines

The first method consists of count the lines or circles surrounding the shields that form the shell. These lines appear in periods in which the animal has had a good or bad diet, so it is not an exact technique, but it can be used to make approximations.

This method is based on the fact that in the shell of the turtles there are thin and thick lines. The fine lines represent periods of poor feeding, which occur mostly in autumn and winter, in cases where the animal is free or in the wild. On the other hand, the thick lines represent stages of good feeding, which occur during warm times.

With this method, the idea is to count all the lines and then divide them between two, which would give the approximate age of the animal. If you intend to use this method, it is more effective for land turtles, since its shell is sharper than that of the marine ones.

See its size

This method also serves to give an estimate regarding the age of the turtle, although it does not represent an exact way of knowing. The procedure consists in knowing the size of the turtle, and for this you must measure from the tip of the tail to the tip of your head.

Next, he investigates in different scientific articles where the sizes reached by the different species of turtles are defined. Thanks to this, you will be able to make a comparison between the reptile measurements you have in front of you and the details provided by the article.

With this method, however, it is necessary to keep in mind that turtles found in captivity they grow more than those found in nature.

How long does a water turtle live?

Determining the life expectancy of sea turtles can be complicated, as you must keep in mind that they live in freedom. However, scientists often place their longevity in 100 years, although there are species, such as the turtles of the Galapagos Islands, which are suspected to have reached 150 years.

Despite this life expectancy that far exceeds the human, several species of sea turtles face extinction. The reasons are varied, but the most important are the pollution of the oceans and bays where their eggs are buried, and indiscriminate hunting for the consumption of their meat.

How old is a land turtle?

The difference in life expectancy of a land turtle and a marine is very large, as land specimens, depending on the species, usually reach a maximum of about 60 years. Did you imagine that your turtle could live so long? He will be with you for a long time!

Some species, such as the box turtle, reach 100 years. Of course, this will depend on the feeding, in the case of the turtles in freedom, and on the diet and the other cares that it receives, in the cases of land turtles that live in houses or in wildlife refuges.

How old is a domestic turtle?

Those that are freshwater are called domestic turtles. The life expectancy of this variety is much lower than that of other turtles, since they only live among 15 and 20 years. As in the case of terrestrial ones, their longevity will depend on the care the turtle receives. He thinks he will not be exposed to predators, so everything will depend on his diet and the general care he receives.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to know the age of a turtle?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

2. Its appearance

Land turtles have a higher shell and thicker and firmer scales. Those of water, however, present it more "flat" and smooth, in addition to being more flexible.

Further, the legs are different: the terrestrial ones have very strong fingers and claws, in the marine or aquatic ones they are more similar to the fins of the fish. Thanks to these they can move more easily in the water.

3. Your food

We could say that it is a difference between water turtle and land very important, especially if you are thinking of choosing one as a pet. None have teeth, but their bite can be very powerful: the mouth ends in a ‘beak’ shape and its jaws are more than strong.

In general terms, terrestrial are herbivorous and aquatic are carnivorous. Of course, there are exceptions depending on where they live and even age, since the marinas become vegetarian in adulthood.

Differences in longev>

There is a big difference between the ages that a turtle can live according to your species. Land turtles, for example, are the longest lived to live more than 100 years. In fact, the turtle that has lived the most in history was a Madagascar star turtle that reached 188 years.

On the contrary, water turtles usually live between 15 and 20 years. Separate case are the freshwater turtles, which can live up to 30 years if they receive good care.

Adaptation of the legs to the medium

The legs of the turtles is one of the most important elements when determining whether you are facing a water turtle or a land turtle.

Given that sea turtles remain constantly inside the water, it is logical that their legs are formed by a series of membranes that allow them to swim. These membranes, called interdigital membranes because they are between the toes, are easy to detect with the naked eye.

In the case of land turtles they do not have these membranes but their legs have tube shape and your fingers are more developed.

Another interesting difference is that sea turtles have long, pointed-toed nails while ground turtles are shorter and stunted.

The turtles character

The character it depends a lot on the habitat in which they operate and whether they are domestic or not.

In this case, water turtles tend to have a very calm character even though their interaction if in captivity is very low.

However, the temperament of land turtles is stronger and it is that living in freedom and having to protect their young is what makes them more irascible and always on the defensive.

An example of extreme aggressiveness can be seen in the alligator turtle, a turtle that adapts wonderfully to live on land and in water.

Shell Differences

In the case of the shell, the most important difference is that while the water turtle has a shell smooth and very soft which helps you move through the water, the land turtle has a shell full of wrinkles and with a very irregular shape. This last type of shell is very characteristic, for example, of the African land turtle.

If you want to read more articles similar to Differences between water and land turtles, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.