– reptile animals, this order is already over 220 million years old. Turtles can live in the sea and on land, in salt and fresh water.
The exact origin of turtles is unknown to science, but already 200 million years ago their ancestors had a strong shell. The largest fossil turtle had a length of more than 4 meters, and weighed about 2 tons. Present-day individuals are of a modest size – they have a shell length of up to 2 meters and a weight of up to 900 kg.
Feature of these animals is a small head of streamlined shape, which the turtle can hide inside the shell in case of danger. There also hides a short tail. Tortoises breed, laying eggs and digging them into the sand.
Although the turtle’s brain is poorly developed, making up only 0.1% of the body weight, the animal has color vision and good results in the field of intelligence. Turtles are one of the most beloved pets, they are attracted to children.
Proper care allows pets to live even in apartments up to 40 years old. About tortoises, you can say so much that the abundance of information has generated and some myths about these animals.
The tortoise is a slow animal.
Everyone knows the saying “slow as a turtle”. This applies to large land tortoises, which are quickly prevented by their heavy armor. But about the marine and freshwater animals can not be said. For example, in an aquatic environment, a turtle can reach speeds of up to 40 km / h.
Turtles are excellent swimmers.
Many people think that water is a natural environment for turtles. However, only sea species are good, freshwater and only a few land. Other land and semi-water types in the water can even drown.
Turtles live long – more than 100 years.
Turtles are really considered to be long-lived animals, but up to 100 years or more live only terrestrial huge species, for example, elephants. If we talk about pets about 30 cm long, they can survive only up to 50 years, and then only with good care for them and proper nutrition. Turtles 50-60 cm long can live up to 60-70 years. This makes it possible to conclude that the age of the turtle depends directly on the maximum size of its species. The most known to science specimens-long-livers reached the bar in 170-180 years.
The tortoises have a hard shell.
If the animal lacks calcium and falls ill with rickets, the shell can become soft, squeezed while doing so. This, in turn, can lead to the death of the turtle. Also there is a kind of elastic turtles, whose shell is soft enough. This feature, oddly enough, helps protect against predators. After all, such turtles hide from enemies in the crevices of stones, “inflating” there the shell and hopelessly getting stuck for a predator.
Turtles are related to amphibians.
Someone may find it strange to have a relationship with other amphibians, but this is a fact. Her relatives really are reptiles and reptiles, such as a lizard, a crocodile and a snake.
The tortoise can at any time free itself from the shell.
This is possible only if the body of the animal falls out of the shell itself. But this will mean that the turtle is actually a half-decayed corpse. After all, its carapace is essentially a fused bones of the ribs and spine. The appearance of it, by the way, markedly changed the structure of internal organs. Muscles of the body atrophied, but the legs and neck became noticeably stronger.
The life of turtles is directly related to sand.
There are a large number of species of turtles and each of them lives in its environment – these are steppes and forests, ponds and lakes, rivers, seas and mountains. You can not tie such a large squad to just one medium.
Turtles are wise and intelligent animals.
This was due to the fact that turtles live for a long time. Accordingly, in the human eye, animals look wise, as their age helps to accumulate knowledge.But even when testing, the turtles show fairly good results. So, they can learn to find a way out of the labyrinth and place for feeding, surpassing in testing snakes and lizards. Also the results of the next test are curious. The tortoise moved along the rail behind the slowly moving feeder. Suddenly she disappeared behind the screen. The animal continued to move in the same direction, discovering as a result its food on the other side of the screen. The solution of such a task turned out to be beyond the power of some birds, by default more intelligent. There are cases when in the deserts the turtles, after rains, construct themselves swimming pools, in which water can remain for a long time. In North America, cunning turtles have learned to lay eggs in the nests of alligators, where predators operate much less frequently.
It’s easy to take care of turtles.
Turtles are wild animals. They sometimes have territories several kilometers wide. Putting them just in the box will be a manifestation of cruelty. We did not want to be in their place and spend the rest of the days in the bathroom. Turtles are recommended to be kept in specially equipped terrariums. If the turtle is a water turtle, then it is necessary to occupy 2/3 of the area with water. For an animal it is better to build a house by its size and maintain a constant warm temperature. In addition, there are certain requirements for nutrition. Turtles must be fed with a variety of vegetable feed, not cottage cheese, bread. The master must remember that one should not let the animal fall into a hibernation – this will lead to illness.
Turtles have excellent health.
There is a myth that this animal and veterinarian is not needed. The fact is that turtles have a slow metabolism, and they do not show signs of ailment until the disease has gone far. Symptoms and symptoms are easily recognizable: closed and swollen eyes, loss of appetite, stay in the same place, moist eyes and nose. If such signs in the pet have appeared, it is necessary to urgently show it to the doctor.
It is best to buy a turtle in a pet store.
This statement is rather doubtful. It is clear that the store seems to many the most civilized place to make a purchase. However, think about what you have to do in order to deliver the turtle. 90% of them on the way just die. Perhaps the best option is to find a turtle in some shelter or from familiar people.
Tortoises sleep in the ground in their holes.
This statement is true for some species, for example, for box-shaped turtles. Some sleep with water, like red eared turtles. Every species has its own habits. The owner also needs to remember – before hibernation, the turtles must be strong and healthy.
Sometimes turtles hiss like snakes, it shows that they have gone mad.
Yes, sometimes you can hear a hiss from the turtles, but that’s not exactly it. The fact is that when the animal is frightened, it starts to quickly draw in the head. The air coming out and makes a sound like that. So this phenomenon is absolutely natural and unintentional.
Turtles can eat anything.
Often some turtles, like carnivores, require live food – snails, worms, fish. Hamburgers, hot dogs and the usual food they do not fit, because it is not in a wild environment. In addition, some species of water turtles generally can only eat underwater.
Turtles can live indoors and have artificial lighting.
In fact, these animals just need real sunlight. This gives them the ability to grow normally and have strong bones. If the sun does not see the animals, then the development of a condition known as metabolic bone disease is possible. In this case, the bones will disintegrate. So only in the sun the turtle can be really happy.
Cute tiny bugs will always remain the same size.
This misconception is one of the most common.As a result, many people who have acquired pets quickly discover that they do not quite fit their homes. After all, small turtles are usually very young, growing up, they grow quickly.
To get rid of the Salmonella germs, the turtle needs to be rinsed.
Reptiles (lizards, snakes, turtles) are found in 3% of families, with 90% of the animals infected with salmonella. The mistake is to assume that simply washing the pet will solve the problem. No matter how clean it is from the outside, it can still carry dangerous bacteria. Therefore, it is important to always wash your hands after communicating with the turtle and its environment. Many also consider it generally dangerous to have this animal in homes with young children or where they are expected to appear.
Females and males of turtles are externally indistinguishable.
In male turtles, males have a longer tail than females. In the case of land animals, femoral spurs are better expressed in males. Both of them possess a groove on the plastron, with which it is easier for males to keep their position when mating. Some species have a difference between the sexes and with respect to size. Thus, in the star-turtled tortoise, males are smaller than females, but in the case of a spur-turtled turtle, the picture is reversed. There are species in which males and females differ in the color of the iris of the eyes. Thus, the females of the Karolin box-shaped turtle have yellow eyes, and the males are red.
Tortoises do not distinguish colors.
Actually, these animals have rather good color vision. When describing food, they are oriented first and foremost on it, rather than on the taste and smell. It was noted that land species especially fell in love with red color. That’s why they are especially interested in vegetables and fruits of this color and even inedible things. Turtles like and green, and light colors.
Turtles do not guard their eggs.
In general, this rule is true for almost all species. Almost all turtles after egg deposition lose all interest to them. But there are exceptions to this rule. For example, a brown turtle, builds for its eggs a separate nest, where the future mother protects them until the very appearance of the offspring. The Bahamian decorated tortoise takes care of posterity. She finds her masonry right before hatching, digging her front paws and helping the offspring to get out. Some species are able to regulate their population. At a high density, the female lays less eggs, and at a low – on the contrary, more.
Turtles are loners as a matter of fact.
Usually it is, these animals prefer a single way of life. Only in the mating season they are looking for a community of their kind. So, zhabogolovye turtles are so lonely that they react even to their relatives aggressively and out of the mating season. But there are some species that gather in groups at the time of wintering.