Turtles are very ancient creatures. They first appeared on Earth about 220 million years ago in the trias period of the Mesozoic era almost at the same time with the emergence of dinosaurs. However, they managed to survive them and evolve them to modern species. Turtles are one of the four squads of the reptile class, along with crocodiles, scaly and beakheaded. A distinctive feature of these reptiles is the presence of a solid shell consisting of two shields: spinal (karapaks) and abdominal (plastron). Turtles inhabit both the aquatic environment and the land. The second are called land.
- Central Asian Turtle
- Mediterranean turtle
- Galapagos turtle (ivory turtle)
- Egyptian turtle
- Leopard Turtle (Panther Turtle)
- Balkan turtle
- Elephant turtle
- African spropped turtle
- Madagascar radiant turtle
- Madagascar beaknavigable tortoise
- Shishkovy turtle
- Turtle Kitniks
- Flat turtle
- Spider tortoise
- Elastic turtle
- Care and content
- How to feed
- Interesting Facts
Central Asian Turtle
A bright representative of the family of land turtles is the Central Asian, differently-steppe, a turtle with a body length from 15 to 20 cm. Its low shell has a rounded shape and yellow-brown color with fuzzy spots. She is very popular as a pet. In the wild, turtles of this species live an average of 15-20 years, but with good capture in captivity they can live for more than 30 years.
Mediterranean turtle due to an extensive range, extended to three continents, several climatic zones and various habitats, has many subspecies and a couple of equivalent names: Greek and Caucasian. The karapaks of the shell of this turtle is high (even when compared with the shell of the Central Asian turtle), has olive or yellow-brown color and black spots.
Galapagos turtle (ivory turtle)
Among all types of land turtles, Galapagos is the most impressive turtle in size, so it is also called ivory. Her body weight can reach 400 kg, and the length is about 2 meters. Despite the large life expectancy, the population of this endemic of the Galapagos Islands is small, the species is considered vulnerable.
The Egyptian turtle is a small reptile in size, living in North Africa and the Middle East. The length of the Karapax turtle reaches 10-13 cm depending on the floor (females are somewhat larger). The color of the shell of a yellowish tint with yellow-brown outlines. This species is on the verge of disappearance.
Leopard Turtle (Panther Turtle)
Leopard, or panther, tortoise a rather large representative of the family. The length of its shell can be approximately 70 cm, and the mass of the whole body is 50 kg. The dome-shaped high shell of sandy color has a shield bordered in brown-black color, resembling spots on the skin of the same name of the cat family. The turtle is common in Africa.
The Balkan turtle in southern Europe lives, mainly on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The length of the shell is an average of 20 cm, and the tail is quite long for the turtle ends with a spike in the form of a cone. This species cannot be called small, but it has an environmental status close to a vulnerable. The life expectancy of a Balkan turtle exceeds a 90-year mark.
A giant turtle (in another gigantic or Seychelles giant) inhabit the island of Aldabra, owned by Seychelles. She lives in shrubs, herbs and mangrove swamps. It has very large sizes (the length of the karapax is more than 1 meter), powerful legs and relatively small head. The life expectancy of this turtle is more than 150 years.
African spropped turtle
A spurious turtle is one of a kind and the largest in size throughout the African continent a representative of land turtles. Its shell in length can be more than 80 cm. The color is typical for many species: brownish-yellow. This animal weighs usually about 100 kg. On the hind legs of the turtle there are 2 or 3 large femoral spurs, hence the name of the species.
Madagascar radiant turtle
The radiant turtle lives exclusively on the island of Madagascar and is on the verge of disappearance. In the past, it was intensively exterminated by people for food purposes and due to the unusual color of the shell in the form of a symmetrical yellow pattern on a black background. Even now it is used as souvenir products. The length of the karapaks of an adult varies within 24-39 cm, and the body weight reaches 13 kg.
Madagascar beaknavigable tortoise
Cloving the turtle, or Angonoka, is also the endemic of Madagascar, and the situation with its population is extremely threatening. The turtle is quite large, the length of the shell is 45-50 cm. On the abdominal shield of the reptile (Plastrone) there is a ledge serving for movement in dense plant thickets and as defense in marriage battles.
The tortoise has an average size: the length of the shell 12-14 cm. The spinal shields of Karapaks have a conical shape and strongly protrude in the area of the spine. They depict orange-red thin rays. The shishkovy turtle in South Africa lives. This type of land turtles is very rare, and therefore strictly protected by the law prohibiting collecting and hunting for it.
This genus of land turtles includes 8 species, the most famous of which are gear, forest and smooth kinniks. They live in forests located in the tropical climatic zone of Africa. They have an unusual shell that differs from the shells of the remaining turtles: it has a mobile rear share that can close the hind legs and tail if necessary.
The only representative of the family of flat turtles is the redheaded flat turtle. In length, her body is only 14 to 17 cm. The shell of a flat turtle is very flattened. Unlike completely ground species, part of his life spends in water. Lives in countries located in the north of South America and in the Amazon River basin.
The spider tortoise is an endemic species living on the island of Madagascar. The number of this species is steadily reduced due to human intervention in its habitat. The length of the high round shell of the turtle usually does not exceed 15 cm. On the brown background of the shell there is a pattern resembling a spider web. The most actively animal in cloudy weather than in the heat.
The elastic turtle is called so because its flat shell (15-18 cm in length) consists of thin plates and thanks to this it has the ability to compress. Color is a brown strip on a golden brown background. Developed sexual dimorphism: males are smaller than females and weigh about 200 g less. Lives in the mountainous areas of East Africa.
Care and content
Some types of land turtles were successfully domesticated by people. The tortoise can become a great friend and favorite for every person, and especially the one that suffers from allergies to cats and dogs. Like any other pet, the turtle also needs attention and proper care, which consists in the correct organization of its habitat, regular feeding and hygienic procedures.
The best option for arranging reptile is a terrarium. Under it you can use an ordinary glass aquarium, the main thing is that it be spacious. The dimensions 50*30 cm will be optimal. Two lamps need to be placed above it: ordinary and ultraviolet. The bottom must be placed with a coating that will easily be washed or replaced. A secluded house is placed inside, where the turtle will be able to hide, a wide feeder and a jerk.
Turtles must be washed in warm water at least once a week, gently wiping the head, legs and shell. It is also necessary to periodically shorten it with overgrown claws with nippers or scissors.
It is important to remember that for turtles are very useful walks in the fresh air at a temperature of at least 25 ° C.
How to feed
Since the turtles are predominantly vegetable reptiles, they need to feed them with plant foods: vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries or special purchased feeds.
If you feed the animal with food cooked independently, then all products must first be finely chopped and cut. Be sure to additionally make vitamins and minerals into food. In the case of ready-made feeds, this is not necessary, since their composition is balanced and enriched with the necessary macro- and micronutrients.
The best for turtles products characteristic of Russian regions are apples, carrots and white cabbage. In addition, they are cheap and available all year round. In the summer, the turtles can be offered everything that grows in this period in gardens, gardens and even in the city: plantain, clover, dandelion, raspberries, currants, apricot. Large bones should be removed from fruits and berries before feeding pets.
Extremely harmful for herbivorous reptiles of bakery products, dairy, sourmilk, fish, meat products, insects, skins of citrus plants and feed for other pets (cats, dogs, parrots and others).
Depending on the type of turtles, puberty occurs in 6, or even 10 years after birth. Females of different species are often larger than males. Males have physical features that facilitate the mating process: a dent on plaster, as well as femoral spurs in some species.
Marriage games of captivity in captivity usually occur in the spring and last up to three weeks. At home, the reproduction period can be yearround due to the constant presence of food and comfortable living conditions. At this time, reptiles are much more active than usual. Males attract females with yanking calls, fight because of them, up to serious injuries and even deaths.
After 2-3 months after mating, females lay fertilized eggs (from 1 to 30, depending on the species) into the recesses dug in the soil and instill them.
Turtles living alone in captivity often lay fat eggs, from which offspring cannot appear. But if heterium or aviary lives in terrarium or aviary, then fertilized eggs are most likely possible. It makes sense to place them in an incubator to remove turtles, which then must be kept separately from adults. Turtles do not have parental instinct, they do not care about offspring and can even harm him.
All living things are subject to all kinds of diseases. In turtles, weaknesses are eyes and shells, and frequent diseases are various infections and inflammatory processes.
Often bacterial infections affect internal organs (heart, kidneys and liver), as a result of which hepatitis, cirrhosis and even a complete refusal of some organs can develop.
The viral infections of the respiratory tract are manifested by the course of the nose and without appropriate treatment can affect the internal organs. Such infections are very insidious, as they can remain hidden and after recovery, and when immunity is reduced to attack the weakened organism again.
The shell of the turtles may occur deformations and softening caused by improper and inferior nutrition. Therefore, it is important that the pet will receive in full all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Rowing of the shell may begin due to mechanical damage. If dirt falls into the resulting cracks, then pathogens cause purulent processes.
Wounds or soft tissue bruises can cause abscesses that are eliminated only by surgical.
If an animal occurs in any injury or disease, first of all, you need to contact a veterinarian.
Ground turtles are amazing creatures with a unique appearance and lifestyle. Here are some interesting facts about these reptiles:
Since ancient times, a person uses turtles as food and material for the manufacture of various souvenirs, and other household items. The merciless extermination of these animals and the gross interference in their habitat led to a sharp reduction in the number of certain species. Particularly vulnerable to land endemics of a number of tropical and subequatorial islands.
Currently, disappearing species are listed in the Red Book of MSOP and are under the protection of the law. To restore populations, turtles are grown in captivity, periodically returning to natural conditions, as well as limit their places of existence from visits and activities of people.