Turtle are reptiles with a bony or leathery shell. We may think that we know all about these animals, but with their adaptations and variety of abilities, they can easily surprise us. Turtles are a very slow and quiet animal and they eat snails, dead animals, water plants, and aquatic insects.
All female turtles lay eggs on land and are always particular about where they lay and bury their eggs. They travel long distances when searching for the right spot. Most turtles lay their eggs on loose soil or a sandy terrain and depending on the specie, turtle eggs may be either hard or soft-shelled, round or elongated. Soft-shells and stinkpot turtles lay eggs with a hard shell which containes a large amount of calcium. The turtle young usually emerge from their egg shell at summer or early fall.
Turtles that spend much time in water have webbed feet with which they use in swimming.
There are semi-aquatic (marsh and swamp type) and aquatic turtle species (water turtles), there are also turtles that spend time both on land and in water, these turtles are said to be semi-terrestrial. Land turtles are also known as terrapins.
Alligator snapping turtles and soft-shell turtles are the largest species of turtles and all lay spherical eggs.
Turtles as Pets
When they are in a decent environment, they tend to have fairly modest requirements; turtles can live for quite a long time. The most kept for a pet is the ‘red-eared slider’ turtle, but there are several other species which are kept as pets.
It should be noted that turtles are not ideal pets for kids as they are not great for handling and they are not easy to care for. Many people also do not realize how large they can grow. Red eared sliders and some other commonly available pet species can grow as long as 12 inches long as such will require large enclosures. Aquatic turtles require fairly elaborate housing as they require regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. People must obtain pricey bulbs specially designed for reptiles these bulbs produce UVA and UVB light and are needed in the tanks where we keep them. When deprived of the exposure to such life rays, they develop soft shell syndrome; which is a metabolic bone disease.
Also, a good filtration unit is required to help maintain their tank water quality, as well for a regular cleaning of their enclosure; turtles are messy. They require a designed location where they can bask as well as deep water for swimming.
Turtles are largely omnivores and as they grow, they could develop a special preference for different types of food. The best way to feed most turtles is by offering them a variety of foods.
Video by: ThePondDigger
Turtles are interesting animals that have been kept as common household pets for many years. But it’s not advisable to pick up a turtle from the wild in other to be kept as pets; wild animals deserve a natural life, and keeping them as pets is as good as killing them.