Basically, they get Central Asian (steppe) turtles, which are not very demanding for care. They can grow up to 20 cm in length and are characterized by the presence of a small rounded shell of a yellow-brown hue in combination with brown spots.
To begin with, it shows its activity in the morning and evening hours, and during the day and night it rests in some kind of shelter. Based on this, we can conclude that for such a turtle it is necessary to create similar conditions.
The Central Asian tortoise goes into anabiotic state twice a year (falls into hibernation), thereby escaping from heat, cold and lack of food. This does not mean that she will do it at home, because she has enough food, and the temperature regime is in the optimal range.
Very often owners of turtles make the same gross mistake: they keep it on the floor. This is strictly prohibited, as there may be the following consequences:
- The turtle can catch a cold, as it needs to be warmed up from time to time.
- May catch an infection.
- May be injured.
Its habitat is a terrarium, as it were, that they did not say.
Temperature and lighting
The temperature regime in the terrarium is supported by an incandescent lamp, rated at 75 W, installed at a height of 20-30 cm from the bottom of the terrarium. In the daytime, the temperature in the terrarium should be: in the shade + 28-30 ° С, and in the lamp area + 36-38 ° С. The terrarium is illuminated by a fluorescent lamp.
In the terrarium, you must definitely take a place for shelter. They have shelter in the shade, and you can make it from any material, even from thick cardboard.
The turtle needs water treatments, about 1 time per week. To do this, you need to take a bowl a little larger than a turtle and pour water in it at a temperature of about + 25 ° C and organize a bath. The water should be clean, and its level reached the neck of the turtle.
Feeding a tortoise
In summer, the basis of the diet of a land tortoise is green. This is about 2/3 of the entire menu. It can be:
The remaining 1/3 of the diet includes fruits and vegetables. They should be alternated and given after 2-3 feedings.
In winter, 2/3 of the ration is steamed hay, and the remaining 1/3 is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Feeding is carried out once a day and, although the turtle may not be watered, a drinker with fresh water should always be present.
It will not be superfluous to recall that the more varied the diet, the greater the guarantee that the turtle will live happily ever after, without any health problems. This can only be if they do not forget about it over time, and it does not bother family members, especially children.
Where dwells in nature
The habitat of this amphibian is concentrated in Central Asia, mainly in the steppe zones from China to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
This species of amphibian prefers to live on sandy soils, but can be found on loamy lands. Basically, the turtle prefers to live on rocky and hilly areas, where there is enough water and grass. They live in holes that they can break through on their own or settle in ready-made ones.
Note! Despite the fact that representatives of this species live in arid areas, on the contrary, they need areas with a high level of humidity so that they can easily break through the ground with their claws and paws. If the soil is very dry and hard, then they will not be able to dig it.
Types of land turtles
In general, when we start talking about land turtles, you need to keep in mind not only the most common Central Asians in our homes. In nature, there are 37 species representative of this family. Most of them are inhabitants of Africa. The most common land turtles for us, common species that have taken root as pets are as follows:
- Mediterranean tortoise. Small (up to 28 cm), with a strong convex carapace, the shields of which form a complex pattern with irregular rings dark on the outer edge. Prefers plant food, in nature occasionally eats earthworms and snails. At a young age, such turtles practically do not survive at home, therefore, it is necessary to take already formed adults.
Coal (red-footed) tortoise. The maximum length is 55 cm. When keeping her house, a shallow terrarium with sand and a shallow bath for water procedures is required. The tortoise of this species is omnivorous - it eats fruits, vegetables, chicken or beef. Special conditions - high air temperature (not lower than + 27 ° C) and high humidity.
Land leopard tortoise. It grows to 60 cm in length. Its carapace is light brown, with small dark spots. When kept at home, you need to feed exclusively with lawn grass, in no case give juicy fruits and vegetables. The terrarium should be equipped with an artificial pond and a lamp for heating.
Radiant tortoise. One of their most beautiful turtles. Large (up to 40 cm), with a high domed shell, the shields of which are black or dark brown with a yellow spot, resembling a star with diverging rays. Such turtles feed on plant foods - sprouts and green parts of plants.
Land turtle - description and structure
The main characteristic of turtles is the shell. Its main purpose is to protect against enemies. It is so durable that it can withstand a load of 190 times the weight of the animal itself. The carapace consists of parts:
- Karapaks. It is divided into internal armor, which is based on bone plates, and the outer layer, represented by horny shields. In some animals, a dense layer of skin covers the armor.
- Plastron is formed by ossification and fusion of the abdominal ribs, collarbone and sternum.
The head of animals of medium size, streamlined. These features make it possible to quickly remove it when threatened. But there are species whose head is very voluminous, practically does not fit in the carapace. In a number of reptiles, the end of the muzzle resembles a trunk with nostrils at the end.
The eyes of animals on land are always downward. Most often, the neck of the reptiles is short, but there are species in which it is the same length as the shell.
Beak replaces turtles teeth. It is to them that animals grind and bite off food. The surface of the beak is covered with bulges, rough to the touch. They replace teeth. Herbivorous reptiles have serrated protrusions along the edges.
Archaeologists have discovered ancient turtles. They had real teeth, which were reduced over time.
The tongue in animals is short, never protrudes. It is needed exclusively for swallowing food.
The tail is present in almost all representatives of the species. During danger, the animal hides it under the shell. Sometimes the tail ends with a spike.
The sight of reptiles is colored. It helps them in finding food. Hearing is well developed. Thanks to him, the animal hears the appearance of the enemy.
Shedding is characteristic of turtles. In terrestrial species, it slightly affects the skin. A small amount of transparent shields exfoliate from the shell.
Under adverse conditions: drought or frost, turtles hibernate. Its duration sometimes reaches six months.
The weight and dimensions of the animal vary depending on the species. The weight of the largest representatives sometimes reaches 890 kg, and their size is often over 2.6 meters. The smallest turtles have a mass of not more than 126 g, and a length of up to 11 cm.
In animals, sexual dimorphism is poorly developed. Therefore, determining their affiliation can be extremely difficult. However, if you look closely at the behavioral features and structure of reptiles, it is possible to find out:
- elongated shell of a female,
- the plastic is concave in the male, in the female is flat - this makes the mating process easier,
- the tail of males is thicker, often bent downwards,
- cloaca in females is closer to the end of the tail, looks like an asterisk, and in males it looks like a gap,
- the boys have a V-shaped notch next to the tail,
- the males are aggressive not only to the alleged rivals, but also to the females. They chase the partner, nodding their head and biting her.
How to choose a turtle
Turtles are growing fast
When choosing a turtle as a pet, first of all, pay attention to the behavior of the animal - it is like a litmus test of a turtle’s health status. Do not forget about the external examination - the shell should not be cracked, there should be no spots on the skin of the turtle, the mucous membranes of the oral cavity should be light pink in color, the saliva should not be viscous, the breath should be silent, there should be no discharge from the mouth and nose .
Choosing a healthy animal - you will protect yourself from disappointment in the fact that you are only accustomed to the animal, created comfortable living conditions for it, but it fell ill and died.
Going for a turtle - do not forget to take the container in which you will transport it home. For land animals, a cardboard box with cut out holes is suitable, and for water ones, a glass jar. It is strictly forbidden to transport a water turtle in a cellophane bag filled with water.
Before acquiring a turtle, you must arrange a terrarium for it. Be sure to make sure that it is spacious enough and comfortable for land turtles in such a terrarium should have a shelter-house, and for water - an island on which they could relax from the aquatic environment.
Why you should not buy exotic species of turtles
And although it is not so easy to buy an exotic turtle, some lovers of this species still manage to find real exoticism, have it in their house, have time to brag to friends, and then ... bury the poor creature. The fact is that if you are the first time to get an animal of this species, and have not had such an experience before, you need to choose the option of a pet that is most adapted for home living. Caring for him is easier, and these creatures are more unpretentious. While some exotic species require special conditions of detention, which are not so easy to create in the conditions of an apartment and a terrarium. As a result, the animal suffers and suffers, begins to hurt and dies. In addition, exotic species of turtles are more selective in terms of diet, they need a special temperature and humidity. In a word, exotic is too troublesome and unreliable. Therefore, if you are not a fan of this species and not a tortoise expert with experience, you should not buy into the entreaties of sellers and an exotic unusual look of a pet.
Based on the way in which reptiles climb into the shell in danger, there are two suborders:
- Side-necked. The head is hidden in the direction of one of the paws.
- Cryptocurrent. The neck is folded S-shaped.
Specialists distinguish several varieties of turtles living on land:
- Elephant (Galapagos). The mass of the animal sometimes reaches 390 kg, a length of 1.8 meters. The sizes of reptiles depend on climatic conditions of habitat. In arid areas, the shell has a saddle shape, the limbs are long. In areas with high humidity, the carapace is domed.
- Egyptian. The most tiny tortoise. The size of males is not more than 12 cm. Females are larger. The shell has a brownish tint. Habitat - Middle East.
- Land Central Asian tortoise. The body is about 19 cm. Carapax is yellow with spots, rounded. There are four fingers on the forelimbs. This is the most popular type of home maintenance. The tortoise lives up to 49 years. Habitat: India, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. Due to capture for sale, the population has almost disappeared.
- Panther. The length of the shell of the animal is more than 0.8 m, weight is about 49 kg. The carapace is domed, tall. Its color is yellow-sand. In young turtles, a dark brown spotted pattern is clearly visible. With the growth of the animal, it disappears. Habitat - Africa.
- Speckled Cape. The smallest turtle on earth. The size of the shell is not more than 9 cm, weight is from 96 to 164 grams. Lives in Namibia and South Africa.
Turtles live everywhere. The exceptions are: Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic, New Zealand.
How to contain a land tortoise?
Land tortoise at home requires a responsible attitude to the conditions of detention. Many mistakenly release her “for free bread” throughout the apartment. This is fundamentally wrong and unacceptable. First, you can step on it and cause injury. Secondly, the turtle will surely climb into a dark corner, breathe dust there, which will harm its lungs. Thirdly, if you do not find her shelter, she will sit there hungry. Fourth, drafts often “walk” on the floor, and turtles need a special warm and humid climate. Therefore, she needs her own house - a terrarium.
Terrarium for land tortoise
Regardless of the species, terrariums for land turtles must be spacious so that the animal moves quietly, they must have a substrate of sand, gravel, straw, pressed sawdust 5-7 cm thick. Since turtles live in hot places in the natural environment, the temperature air in the terrarium should not fall below + 25 ° C. A shallow water pan is desirable in the terrarium, so that sometimes a land tortoise can carry out water procedures.
Land tortoise lamp
Above the terrarium, a lamp should be lit for lighting and heating with a power of not more than 60 watts, as well as a fluorescent lamp to obtain the necessary ultraviolet light. Every six months, an ultraviolet lamp needs to be replaced with a new one. Keeping land turtles without lamps can result in health problems for the pet. Ultraviolet is necessary for the absorption of calcium and a strong shell, and an ordinary lamp is needed to warm the air to the desired temperature.
Land Turtle Care
Any land tortoise needs proper care, which includes maintaining the cleanliness of her home, herself, ensuring the right lifestyle. So, how to care for a land tortoise:
- to feed regularly and variably in accordance with one or another habitual diet,
- bathe in warm water every week - this gives land turtles great pleasure, in addition, it helps to increase appetite and good bowel function,
- take care of the claws - in captivity they do not have time to grind as they grow, therefore, periodically you need to trim them with a special clipper,
- take out for walks in the fresh air - on warm and sunny days it is very useful to give the turtle the opportunity to walk in the open air, but you just need to monitor it continuously, since it can disappear from sight in the depths of grass in a very short time.
Central Asian tortoise
Among the many varieties of land reptiles, this breed is considered the most common. It is often wound up at home, because this individual has an unpretentious character and quickly adapts to the conditions of a house or apartment.
Typically, turtles of the Central Asian species have clumsiness and increased slowness. It takes too much time for a reptile to move from one place to another. These animals live mainly in Central Asia.
Note! This species of amphibian animal is considered rare, for this reason it is listed in the Red Book. It is not specifically allowed to catch and sell, however, sometimes in some pet stores there are turtles of a Central Asian species.
Important characteristics of the turtle:
- the animal has a strong shell with a solid structure,
- the color of the shell is yellow-brown,
- on the surface of the shell there are small brushes with a dark shade,
- on the legs in front of the individual has 4 fingers,
- Compared to other varieties, the average period of life is about 40-50 years.
This type is suitable for home use. But first you need to equip a place for the reptile to live. For her, it is recommended to pick up a large aquarium with a volume of 150-200 liters. Inside it must necessarily be a temperature within 25-30 degrees.
These are European land turtles with about 20 subspecies. Individuals can live in different territories with different climatic conditions. They love solar heat very much, for this reason they prefer places with increased sunlight.
Features of turtles of this species:
- the Mediterranean turtle has a convex carapace with a strong structure,
- the shell is painted in yellow or olive shade,
- on the surface there are brushes of a dark color,
- spurs are present on the hips,
- the length of the shell can be 35 centimeters,
- Reptiles feed mainly on plant foods, and can also eat various crustaceans.
Turtles of this breed are often kept in homes or apartments. European land turtles have an unpretentious character, do not require increased care. The main thing is that the temperature in the range of 25-30 degrees is observed in the terrarium, as well as a balanced diet. If all this is done, then the animal will be able to live in captivity for several decades.
Galapagos tortoise (elephant)
This is the largest land tortoise that lives on the territory of the Galapagos Islands. The main feature of these reptiles is that they have overall dimensions and live only in natural conditions.
It is worth paying attention to its main qualities:
- they have a very long shell, its size can be almost 1.9 meters,
- these turtles are heavy, the body weight can reach up to 400 kilograms,
- in arid regions, mainly small reptiles with a weight of not more than 100 kilograms are found. They have saddle-like carapace and long, thin legs,
- individuals living in regions with high humidity have a round shell. Their body size is large enough, it is here that you can meet huge turtles with a body weight of 300-400 kilograms.
The Egyptian tortoise is quite small, for this reason it is often brought home, in the apartment. The habitat of these individuals is concentrated in Egypt, Israel, Libya.
Important characteristics of Egyptian amphibians:
- the size of the tortoise body is small, its length is only 12 centimeters,
- the shell color is yellow,
- on the surface of the shell there are brushes with a fringing in the form of a dark strip,
- there are no spurs on the paws on the back.
Before starting this type of small turtles, it is worth preparing places for their maintenance. Terrestrial animals like space, for this reason it is worth installing a large aquarium with a volume of 150-200 liters. The temperature inside the aquaterrarium should be about 25-30 degrees.
Leopard tortoise (Panther tortoise)
This species of turtles lives mainly in Africa. Individuals have a relatively large size. The length of the shell can reach up to 70 centimeters, and body weight up to 50 kilograms.
The shape of the shell is round, this part is very high and rises strongly above the body of the reptile. The shell color is sandy with a yellow tint. In young individuals, a spotted pattern with black or dark brown color can be seen. This pattern gradually disappears as the individual grows older.
These are European land turtles that look very similar to the representatives of the Mediterranean species. They inhabit southern Europe, their largest number lives near the sea.
These reptiles have the following features:
- reptiles have a small shell with a fairly strong structure. Its diameter size is 15-20 cm,
- the color of the shell is a light shade, it also contains impregnations with a dark color,
- with age, the shell becomes darker,
- there is a spike at the end of the tail.
It is worth noting! What is interesting is the appearance and size of the reptile of this species differs depending on the region of habitat. Individuals that live in the west have smaller body sizes, unlike animals that live in the eastern part.
Choosing a land tortoise for the house, it is worthwhile to get acquainted with its types. The fact is that any breed has distinctive features, and some are not suitable for home maintenance. Each species has characteristic features, habits and content requirements. This must be known, especially for the novice breeder of these reptiles.
What do land turtles eat
Naturally, you will have to feed your new pet with something. And, its health will depend on the correctness of the diet. Therefore, remember the basic rules regarding feeding land tortoises. They can be given fruits, berries, vegetables, grass, tree leaves, meat, low-fat cottage cheese, boiled eggs, and hercules soaked in water. Such turtles would like to eat bugs and snails (garden and without a shell). The diet regimen and frequency, as well as the serving size, depend on the age of the tortoise. So, young individuals eat daily, while turtles older than a year can eat every other day, but in large portions, and mainly plant food.
How to feed a land tortoise?
A natural question for beginner tortoises is how to feed a land tortoise at home? Their main diet is plant foods - berries, fruits, vegetables, grass. The best of all is to feed them with a mixture of different ingredients - so their nutrition will be varied and balanced. You can put food on a flat saucer, the main thing is that it is convenient for the turtle to eat from it. In the summer, the vegetable and fruit menu can and should be varied with clover, dandelions, sorrel, sprouted oats, pea leaves.
Types of turtles
At the moment, there are about 328 species of these reptiles, they make up 14 families. A distinctive feature of the overwhelming number of turtles is the presence of a carapace consisting of a carapace (dorsal shield) and a plastron (abdominal shield), movably connected to each other. These shields are a solid horn tissue, they are very durable and successfully protect the reptile from enemies and unexpected troubles.
Actually, the name “tortoise” itself explains to us that the animal has a peculiarity in appearance - its shell is similar to a shard (meaning the Slavic name) or tile (according to the Latin name “testudo”). The appearance of the turtle not only confirms its name, but also proves that it was the carapace that helped her survive and survive in order to reach us from distant prehistoric times.
All turtles can be divided into 2 groups by the method of covering their heads in a shell:
- Cervical fold the neck, bending it with the letter S.
- Side-necked they hide their heads slightly to one side, closer to any forelimb.
The following division is easier to produce by habitat.
- Marine turtles - chosen for life the waters of the oceans.
- Ground turtles - live on land, and they can also be divided into:
- land - those who prefer to live on solid land,
- freshwater - they inhabit fresh water bodies: rivers, ponds and swamps.
Now that we’ve briefly met the basic groups, we’ll try to understand them in more detail and find out names of species of turtles.
Types of Sea Turtles
Residents of the sea are usually much larger than their land relatives. They are more common in the tropics, they are more comfortable in warm water. In the cold northern latitudes they come across very rarely. According to scientists who studied fossil remains, they have not changed much over many millions of years.
They are characterized by well-developed forelegs, which they use as flippers. The hind legs practically do not help them swim. Their limbs are not drawn into the shell. By the way, several species of marine reptiles do not have a shell at all, for example, a leatherback turtle. In the water element, they are extremely mobile, and develop exceptional speed, very dexterous and are well oriented in the sea.
The most famous species of sea turtles:
1. Leather turtles. The only remaining species from the entire family. They can be considered the largest of the turtle detachment, the size of these creatures reaches 2.6 m. Their weight reaches 900 kg, they are omnivorous. In addition, they are considered wider than all vertebrates on Earth. These "crumbs" can significantly bite, they are so strong that they can even break bone tissue.
They themselves do not attack a person, but show aggression if they are angered on purpose. One case is told when such a huge turtle attacked a small fishing vessel and turned it over. True, it was noticed before that a shark had been chasing her for a long time. Perhaps the fishermen were simply on the way out, and she took them for a threat.
2. Green Soup Sea Turtles. Usually found in tropical Pacific and Atlantic latitudes. Contrary to the name, their color is not only green, but also chocolate with strokes and spots of the color of egg yolk. Young individuals spend their lives in the open sea, hunting for fish and other inhabitants of the seas. By old age, they move to land and become herbivores.
3. Loggerhead Sea Turtles(false carriage), or loggerheads. They grow to a size of 95 cm, while weighing about 200 kg. Carapax resembles a large heart in shape, the color is delicate coffee, terracotta or pistachio. The lower shield is cream or yellow. The forelimb fins are equipped with a pair of claws.
The head is large, decorated with noticeable shield plates. Lives in the warm subtropical sea belt of the Earth, for nests it slightly expands its habitat, capturing zones with a temperate climate. The largest population is seen in the Arabian Sea on an island called Masirah.
4. Sea turtles bisse (real carriage). A bit like green turtles, only inferior to them in size. Their habitat is located between the temperate zones of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. They can be seen near the foggy lands of Great Britain, the rocky coast of Scotland, in the east they are found in the Sea of Japan, they were seen in the region of the southern cape of Africa, not far from Tasmania and New Zealand.
They spend their whole lives at sea, and go ashore exclusively for reproduction. Such periods occur only once in about three years, and they undergo lengthy migrations to sail to their native nesting sites. Recently it was noticed that they sometimes emit a glow in water (prone to fluorescence).
5. Olive turtles or Ridley turtles. Also lovers of warm latitudes, and also do not leave the sea all their lives. Their breeding season is very remarkable. They lay their eggs once a year at the same time all in one day, and in the same place. They gather all on the seashore on this single day, representing a large congestion.
Aborigines call this phenomenon "the invasion of turtles." Each of the parents carefully bury their eggs, disguises, smoothes the surface, tries as much as possible so that the masonry place is invisible. Then, with a calm soul, he leaves for the open sea. And the eggs remain lying in the sand until the babies hatch from them.
There are many eggs, but babies have very low survival rates. Small turtles immediately rush to the water, and on the way they are already waiting for ground predators. Surviving babies dive into saving water. And there they are waiting for marine predators. Only dozens of hundreds of hatched babies remain. And perhaps only one out of a hundred will survive to six months and return to the same shore in order to lay eggs by itself.
Types of land turtles
This group leads in the number of representatives. It includes 37 species of land representatives and 85 freshwater. Also, several small families of 1-2 species can be attributed to terrestrial reptiles. All spread quite widely, occupying the space inside the tropical, subtropical and temperate zones of the Earth.
Mostly terrestrial turtles are represented by herbivores. They eat any plant food, with it they can additionally receive moisture. Indeed, in many habitats of these animals the climate is usually arid.
If a long, hot period of drought sets in, reptiles hibernate. They have a slow metabolism, which is why they can survive for a long time, for example, up to 150 years or more. Consider the two largest families - land and freshwater turtles.
Types of Freshwater Turtles
They are a very spacious family. It includes 31 genera and, as already mentioned, 85 species. They are most often of small size, with a low round or oval carapace. Their paws are swimming thanks to the membranes between the fingers, on which are very sharp claws.
The top of the head has smooth skin, shields or scales are only on the back of the head. Often they have a very elegant and unusual color of the shell and protruding parts of the body. They are quite widespread, live on all continents except Australia. There are two basic directions of their habitat.
More ancient originates from Southeast Asia. Approximately 20 genera may consider this region their homeland. Another branch originates from North America, from there originated 8 genera of these reptiles. Basically choose ponds with quiet stagnant traffic.
They are agile in water and relatively mobile on land. Omnivores. Some of them eventually went overland, which changed their appearance and behavior. Among reptiles with mixed nutrition, rather even carnivores, there are absolute vegetarians.
Introducing some species of water turtles:
1. European marsh turtle. 13 subspecies of this reptile are known. Carapax can be up to 35 cm in size, swamp color, in tone with the environment. The shape is usually in the form of an oval, slightly raised, the surface is smooth. The ventral shield is yellowish. Bright yellow specks are scattered throughout the body and on the shell.
She has a very elongated tail, in sexually mature turtles it reaches up to ¾ of the length of the carapace, and in young people it is almost the same with it. It weighs up to 1.5 kg. He likes stagnant various standing water bodies, or with a slow course. It lives almost everywhere in Europe, hence the name. In addition, you can see it in the north of the African continent.
2. Rubella turtles. They live in different parts of the world with a subtropical climate, except Australia. In Europe, they chose the center and the south, in Africa - the north, in Asia they live in the south and east. And also settled in North America. The name was given due to red elongated spots from the eyes to the back of the head.
Although some species of red-eared turtles differ in other colors of these spots. For example, in Cumberland tortoise they are lemon-colored, in yellow-bellied - sunny yellow.Their carapace is oval, brown in color with buffy (yellow) mountain ash and a rim along the edge.
Its size is 18-30 cm, among young people it is the color of spring grass, over the years it becomes darker. Males differ from their girlfriends in a larger and more massive tail, as well as the size of the nail plates. There are about 15 species of red-eared turtles. It is interesting that among them there are representatives living in the UK, it can be said that this is one of the most northern varieties in the territory of residence.
3. Soft turtles. They look like alien monsters, a kind of symbiosis of man and reptiles. They have soft shells, but very strong teeth, and they are aggressive. The most dangerous of them is the Kandor tortoise in China. This predator hides in the sand hunting, then abruptly jumps and grabs the victim with sharp teeth.
A man also needs to be cautious with them, although these reptiles are rare and are considered endangered. Bright representatives of this variety include trionics. On the territory of the Russian Federation, he lives in the Amur region.
There passes the northern boundary of its habitat. It is also found in Japan, East China, Korea, and the islands of Taiwan. Introduced to Hawaii. Night and twilight hunter, in the daytime resting, basking in the sunny beach. Predator catches fish and invertebrates.
4. Big-headed turtle. This bizarre creature has a long tail, like a snake. Lives and hunts in the rivers of southeast Asia. Does not pull the big head under the shelter of the shell. He is the owner of strong and strong jaws, which, when threatened, he uses without delay.
In nature, it is advisable not to approach it at close range, it is able to crush bones with its bite. She also climbs trees on which she can sit for a long time like a big bird.
5. Fringed Tortoise Mata Mata. Freshwater representative allocated in a monotypic look. She is very ugly, if I may say so about a living creature. She lives in rivers in the north of South America, mainly in the Amazon, and can really scare a person, and even harm him. She has a long neck, like a snake, has two sharp plates in her mouth, like human teeth fused, and she is carnivorous. Preparing for the hunt, it masquerades as a snag or a stunned tree trunk.
There is another group of turtles that is unofficially isolated. Nevertheless, it is very interesting for lovers of these unpretentious animals.
1. Central Asian (steppe) tortoise. Many people like to start it at home. It is these turtles that we often see among our friends and acquaintances. They are compact, not afraid to be on hand. They move very slowly, slightly tapping their claws.
They are already listed in the Red Book, but are found on sale quite often. The most acceptable conditions for them are dry heat. In their terrarium should be approximately 24-30ºС, always fresh water. Try to let your darlings go for a walk, they really don’t like the enclosed space. They may even get sick.
2. Mediterranean (Caucasian, Greek) tortoise. The best temperature of the content is 25-30ºС. The basis of the diet is vegetable. Once a month, you can give protein food - earthworms, slugs, grasshoppers. Does not need regular drinking, no need to put water. She can spill it, and excess moisture is harmful to her.
3. The Balkan tortoise. To maintain the house, she needs a daytime temperature of 26-32ºС, at night it is 5-7 degrees lower. It feeds mainly on plant foods, but can swallow both invertebrate and a piece of meat. It is kept in dry terrariums; egg incubation lasts 53-92 days. In winter, they need wintering at a temperature of 10ºС and humidity of about 80%.
4. Egyptian turtles. It is necessary to maintain the temperature in the terrarium 24-30ºС. They have a peculiarity in behavior, at the slightest danger they try to burrow in sand or soft earth. It is necessary to take this into account when choosing a soil for maintenance.
Freshwater Domestic Turtles
1. Trachemys the turtle leads the popularity of domestic content among aquatic turtles. Many are happy to demonstrate it in an aquarium. As we already said, she has distinctive red spots in the eye area, and these turtles are also called decorated, because their entire carapace and protruding body parts are intricately drawn. For comfort, they need an aquarium with artificial shore. Water temperature should be 22-28ºС, air temperature - 20-32ºС.
2. European marsh turtle. To contain it, an aquarium with a shore and shallow water is desirable. She is active in the morning and in the afternoon, sleeps at the bottom at night. Sometimes it is necessary to put an additional safe lamp in order to comply with the light regime. Prefers water temperature up to 25ºС, air - up to 30ºС.
3. Caspian tortoise. Their carapace is in the form of an oval, small (up to 25 cm) and marsh color with sunny stripes, the same lines adorn the whole body. Sexual deformity is expressed by a concave carapace in boys, as well as a thick and long tail. In girls, the tail is shorter, and the carapace is slightly convex.
They chose to live in southern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. Most often they are seen in the Caspian Sea region. It is interesting that they can swim in the river, and in a little brackish, slightly mixed with sea water.
The main thing is that there should be vegetation nearby. In addition, they are also climbers, can climb up to 1.8 km to the mountain. They like the ambient temperature of 30-32 ºС, but they prefer cool water - 18-22 ºС.
4. Chinese trionics (Far Eastern tortoise). Amazing creature with soft leathery shell. She has neither carapace nor plastron, her general body color is gray-green, only her belly is pinkish. There is a proboscis on the muzzle, and she hides her head in the likeness of a collar. On the legs, three fingers. She has a rather nasty character.
It moves quickly, has sharp cutting teeth, is aggressive and can significantly hurt. It’s also difficult to tame. Their habitat is Southeast Asia and nearby islands.
It is found in Russia in the Far East. He likes slow streams, and any other reservoirs with a quiet course. Very valuable meat, in the East it is served as a delicacy. Comfortable water temperature up to 26 degrees.
And finally, some species of small turtles. These pets can be ideal for those whose living conditions do not allow to put a large aquarium. Sometimes a little old box from under the boots is enough for land babies. A water - a small aquarium, as for fish. They can grow only up to 13 cm, unpretentious, very funny and cute. These turtles include:
- flat turtles (size 6-8 cm, weight 100-170g), herbivores,
- trailing turtles (size 7.5-13 cm),
- silt musky (size up to 10cm), live in an aquarium,
- spotty (size 7.5-13 cm), they are half land, and they need a terrarium with a pool.
- chinese three-keel (up to 13 cm). Very unpretentious, slow and calm babies.
All freshwater turtles need an aquarium with a small stretch of makeshift land. More precisely - you need water, land and shallow water. The last zone is needed for thermoregulation. The land should be done with a slight slope to the water from a sufficiently rough material to make it easier for them to climb.
And they need proper nutrition and cleanliness in the tank. Before choosing your pet, we recommend that you carefully consider the above types of turtles in the photo. Sometimes the appearance can play a decisive role in choosing!
What does a land tortoise eat?
What does the turtle eat in the wild? The basis of nutrition is plant food. To maintain protein balance, animals eat small insects and snails. Reptiles get the necessary moisture with succulent plants, but if there is a source of water, they never miss the opportunity to drink it.
Representatives of box turtles eat poisonous mushrooms. Their meat from this becomes inedible.
What do water turtles eat
The diet of water turtles is a plant food, mineral nutrition, special vitamins. However, given the peculiarity of the habitat - water, make sure that the remains of the feed do not swim in the water and do not begin to rot in it. This will lead to the fact that the water becomes cloudy, and harmful microorganisms begin to develop in it. Therefore, it is better to feed the water turtle on an island of sushi, or do it with tweezers - when the turtle pokes its head out of the water - you can offer her her favorite treat - meat, vegetables and fruits, boiled eggs and gammarius.
Reproduction in reptiles occurs at different times. It depends on the location and type of animals. But all members of the class have similar features. For the right to fertilize the female, the males enter into battle with each other. Land turtles try to flip or force their rival to retreat using shell hits. After the competitor leaves the battlefield, the winning male begins courtship. At the same time, he tries to ensure that the female takes the best position for mating.
To attract a partner, the male strokes her face with his limbs or sings.
Females dig holes in the sand to lay eggs. Crocodile nests or their own burrows are also often used. The masonry is reliably covered with soil from above, and then rammed with light strokes of the shell.
The surface of the eggs is covered with a leathery shell or shell. In the masonry there are up to 190 pieces. The incubation period is 91 days. The female makes several clutches during the mating season.
Turtles are solitary reptiles. They look for a couple only during the mating period.
What to feed in winter and summer - the secrets of proper nutrition
Pay attention to pet diet
You need to feed daily greens, vegetables and fruits. You can buy ready-made feed mixtures at the pet store.
The turtle should always have access to a bowl of clean water!
- some cucumbers
- any lettuce leaves
- greens and grass (from parsley to plantain),
- porridge (semolina, buckwheat, oatmeal).
If you decide to get a land tortoise at home, then do not forget to think about its proper nutrition. Nutrition is the main component of the full health and normal existence of this animal.
The reptile diet should be 90% from plants and 10% from animal feed. It is by no means recommended to give raw meat, because various parasitic organisms may be present in it. In addition, some products can be given daily, while others only 2-3 times a month.
So, what foods do land turtles eat:
- they actively feed on field plants of field and indoor species,
- can eat various types of vegetables with pleasure - carrots, eggplants, zucchini, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, horseradish and others,
- she eats fruit
- loves berries
- various types of mushrooms.
Also in the menu of turtles you can include dry feed mixtures - sunflower seeds, dried seaweed, bran, soybean meal.
Necessarily reptiles are required to have fresh clean drinking water. It is recommended to water a land tortoise every day. But only a veterinarian can tell how to drink properly, but, as a rule, she herself crawls to a cup of water and drinks it in small sips.
Interesting Ground Turtle Facts
Turtles are one of the oldest inhabitants of the Earth. Their unique nature allowed them to survive in difficult conditions, to maintain their identity. There are interesting facts about these animals:
- The gender of future offspring depends on the ambient temperature. If the incubation period passes in coolness, then the males hatch, in the heat - the females.
- In the museum of Dnepropetrovsk, an amazing event happened that struck all its employees. For a long period, exhibit eggs lay on shelves, and in 2013 turtles hatched from them.
- Some states in the heraldry found the image of these reptiles.
- Turtles almost never cause harm to humans. But cayman during mating sometimes take people for rivals and attack. Leathery turtles sometimes confuse swimmers with females, swim towards them, clasp them with flippers and carry them under water.
- Animal meat is considered a delicacy. It is cooked and eaten raw.
- Expensive beautiful accessories are cut out of the shell, which decorate women's hairstyles.
Land turtles are amazing animals, among which there are giants reaching a length of about a meter, and pygmies no more than 9 cm in size. The behavior features of these reptiles have won the hearts of people. A domestic turtle is a kind of silent pet that does not cause almost any trouble to its owner.
The main mistakes in the care of land turtles
Follow the rules of care and then the pet will delight you with its good mood and health
Often people buy turtles without thinking about what kind of care they need. The most common errors in reptile content:
- The absence of a terrarium as such. Unfortunately, most people buy reptiles, forgetting about arranging their habitat. They let them crawl around the house, not providing either temperature or other comfortable living conditions for the pet.
- Lack of UV lamp. Not all owners are aware of the urgent need for ultraviolet light for pet health. If there is no such lamp, there are problems with the carapace and health of the baby.
- Pet cleaning with a stiff brush when molting. Bathing should not be accompanied by any additional cleaning products or brushes. After bathing, wipe dry with a soft towel.
- Keeping several pets in one terrarium. Doing this is strictly prohibited. Two males on the same square or animals of different sizes will definitely start a war for territory.
- Washing the terrarium in the sink with kitchen utensils. All cleaning is best done outside the kitchen. Using a kitchen sponge is also undesirable for hygienic purposes. It is better to prepare a separate set of rags and sponges for cleaning the animal’s dwelling, and after this procedure, thoroughly disinfect the sink.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap!
Turtle is a beautiful unpretentious pet. With proper care and feeding, he will delight his owners for many years. Many people like to watch a pet basking in the sun, take it with them to the country house for a walk on the grass. And for some, arranging a reptile's residence becomes a real hobby. If you do not want to spend time on walks and constant fuss with animals, a turtle is the best choice for acquisition.
Vitamins for land turtles
Vitamin-mineral supplements are desirable in the diet of land turtles contained at home. Carbonate, bone meal, ground eggshell, glycerophosphate can act as mineral additives. They must be given at the rate of 100 mg per 1 kg of animal weight. As for vitamins, the Central Asian domestic tortoise needs natural sources of vitamins A, B12, and D3. You can not give her oil preparations and vitamin D2. Everything she needs to get from food.
How to determine the sex of a land tortoise?
It is possible to accurately determine the sex of the turtle when it was 1.5-2 years old, that is, maturity occurred. Here are a number of distinguishing features by which to judge the sex of the reptile:
- Claws. In males, they are thicker and sharper. This is necessary to fix their bodies during mating. In females, the claws are shorter and dumber.
- The shell. In males, the lower part - the plastron - has a concave shape, in addition, they have spurs (skin growths) on their hips. All this is due to the need to stay on the female during mating. The shape of the shell itself is also somewhat different: in females it is round, in males it is oblong.
- Tail. The genitals of turtles are in the tail. In the male, it is larger, wider at the base, while in the female the tail is short and thin.
- The size of the animal. Land tortoise at home is determined by sex and due to its size. Nature created the female larger, because she needs to bear offspring. When several individuals of about the same age live in the aquarium at the same time, this difference is obvious.
- Eye color. Females have yellow eyes, and males have brown eyes.
Land Turtle Disease
A land tortoise at home can face the following common diseases:
- Rickets. Due to a lack of vitamin D3 and ultraviolet light, turtles often begin to soften at first, and then the shell. At an early stage, you need to revise its diet and buy a UV lamp for the terrarium. Progressive rickets requires injections of veterinary calcium, and yet the curvature of the carapace remains irreversible.
- Watery, sticky, swollen eyes - A sign of a lack of vitamin A. If you observe this condition, rinse locally with chamomile solution, drip drops of Albucid or Sofradex. In addition, injections of multivitamin preparations are necessary.
- Defeat by parasites. Worms are driven out by the veterinary drug Albendazole.
- Colds, pneumonia. Manifested by a runny nose and shortness of breath. The mucous membranes become pale, with a white coating, foam, saliva becomes viscous. Such diseases are treated with antibiotics.
Characteristics and varieties of turtles
The name of the reptile comes from the Latin word Testudinidae, which means tile or brick. Carapax is a hard shell covering the back. The tissue covering the abdominal region is called plastron.
The protective properties of the shell allow it to withstand a load exceeding the dead weight of the animal by 200 times. The size of adult turtles depends on belonging to a particular species. In the wild, reptiles up to 10 cm long and giant representatives up to 900 kg are found.
When choosing a pet, you should consider the conditions of detention and the size of the reptile. Among all known land representatives of this genus, several types of turtles can be distinguished:
- Leopard. It is characterized by the spotted carapace and body weight of 50 kg.
- Central Asian (steppe). Representatives of this species rarely grow more than 20 cm. This domestic land tortoise is distinguished by a yellow-brown shell of round shape. Unpretentiousness in leaving made her the most affordable reptile among her own kind for home breeding.
- Asian It has two subspecies: brown and depressed.
- Mediterranean Reaches 35 cm in length. Has gained particular fame in European countries.
- Radiant. It is a rare species that lives on the Madagascar Islands. It owes its name to the right yellow lines on the shell.
Not all turtles can be kept in an apartment because of their size and the required care conditions. The most accessible species for terrarium maintenance is the Central Asian tortoise.
Life expectancy and habitat
Under natural conditions, representatives of this species can be found in desert, semi-desert and steppe regions. Most often, this area includes the lands of Africa, America (North and South), Greece, Russia, Uzbekistan, Australia and others.
Life expectancy depends on the type of reptile and the conditions of detention. About 50 years live in the wild, and home maintenance shortens the life span, which usually does not exceed 15 years. With the preservation of the motor activity of the pet and the competent preparation of the diet, life expectancy increases to 30 years.
The steppe land turtles listed in the Red Book need comfortable conditions when living in an apartment. The content in the terrarium of domestic land turtles is reduced to compliance with the specifics of their lifestyle in natural conditions:
- Ability to molt. The old skin is gradually exfoliated in small areas.
- Susceptibility to suspended animation. With a lack of food and a decrease in temperature, the animals hibernate.
- Fear of drafts. Maintenance in the apartment should exclude through ventilation of the room. Reptile can die from severe hypothermia.
Feeding and care
The plant food, which makes up the bulk of the diet, is fed by land turtles in the wild. Reptile gets protein by eating slugs, snails or worms. Housing maintenance is reduced to the device of the terrarium. At home, land tortoise should be fed with products close to the natural menu.
Feeding and maintenance of land tortoises should vary in the warm and cold season. In summer, it is better to focus on green plant feed:
In winter, the most affordable are: carrots, cabbage and beets. Some fruits are added to the diet to saturate the animal with vitamins.
From time to time, ground egg shells or bone meal are added to the meal to enrich the body with calcium. To exclude dehydration, reptiles are given juicy greens. Turtles are fed once a day.
Caring for a turtle is very simple, and even a school-age child can handle it. It is not recommended to keep it in the confined space of the terrarium all the time. To meet motor needs, she is let out on the floor. The turtle moves slowly, so you need to monitor it at the time of the walk.
At home, care requires periodic bathing of the animal. At the time of molting, the reptile is bathed in a weak solution of soda (1 teaspoon of the substance is put per 1 liter of water). Keeping a turtle in a terrarium makes it impossible to grind its claws. When they grow strongly, they are removed with a special clipper. In winter, animals are irradiated with quartz lampsprotecting eyes. This is done to replenish the body with ultraviolet light.
Permanent maintenance on the floor in an apartment environment is unacceptable. If necessary, enclose a small walking area next to the terrarium. The dimensions of the container for keeping the animal are determined based on the size of an adult, which reaches 20 cm in length.
At home, the turtle needs a terrarium, the size of which is selected based on the size of an adult reptile
The turtle is allowed to be kept in a regular aquarium with litter. Gravel, sand or sawdust is poured at the bottom. Change the litter when contaminated. It is allowed to install a small shallow water tank for bathing a pet. The temperature inside the enclosure should be in the range of 25−35 degrees.
With a lack of natural light, it is necessary to use a fluorescent lamp. The animal is sprayed with warm water once a day. Humidity in the terrarium must comply with the minimum indicators. For a night stay, it is permissible to build a house from improvised materials (plastic or wood).
It is permissible to place indoor plants in the terrarium as decoration: Sansevier, aloe or curly flowers. They are best installed in small pots, lined with stones on top. The turtle is able to enjoy a flower, therefore it is prohibited to place poisonous vegetation.
With proper maintenance at home, the tortoise land practically does not get sick. Novice breeders can make mistakes that require reptile treatment:
- Helminthiasis. Infection with parasites occurs when animals eat unprocessed foods. For prophylaxis, medications are given every six months.
- Non-compliance with the temperature regime. With frequent drafts in the turtle, pneumonia can develop. To prevent undesirable consequences after swimming, thoroughly wipe the animal with a dry towel.
Hypothermia of the turtle can lead to pneumonia. Therefore, you need to monitor the temperature regime of reptile content
To eliminate the negative consequences, it is recommended to observe the rules of keeping and caring for the animal. All remaining perishable food should be discarded after the meal.
Turtles can reproduce when keeping a house when special conditions are created. After completion of wintering, pairing is allowed. For this purpose, several females are brought up for one male. Contain representatives of different sexes separately. To get offspring, the male is hooked up to the female so that they get used to each other.
Breeding turtles should start after wintering
Offspring emerges from laid eggs. Depending on the species, the period of breeding turtles can be from two months to six months. In one clutch there are up to six eggs. Newborn turtles have an average length of about 3 cm.
It is possible to determine the gender of the resulting offspring by characteristic signs. Males have an elongated carapace shape and a peculiar notch on its upper part at the tail in the form of the letter V.
The lower part of the shell near the tail of the males is concave. Female representatives have a straight line. Such a structure of the plastron is necessary for mating and bearing offspring.
Watching the turtle can bring a lot of joy. When choosing a future pet, you should pay attention to the appearance of the animal and its activity. A healthy reptile should not be damaged on the shell and be active in the morning and evening hours.