Table of Contents

## Turtles in nature

First, let’s get acquainted with the land turtle itself, because before you start this reptile in your house, you need to know at least a little about it. So, a land turtle, it is Central Asian, it is also a steppe. Although it is called a steppe, the native habitat of this species is the deserts of Central Asia.

Turtles feed on plant foods. In winter they hibernate. Sexual maturity occurs at about ten years of age. The female lays several eggs, but not all at once, but with an interval of two days. Newborn turtles are only 30 mm long. It is interesting that, as soon as they were born, they immediately burrow into the ground, where they hibernate, and in the spring they go free.

## Turtle structure

This reptile has four limbs, with the front ones. four-fingered. The carapace is round and low, its color can be various shades of yellow-brown or yellow-green, with black or brown spots on each shield. This color allows you to perfectly camouflage among the sands and dry grass.

### How to tell the age of a turtle/tortoise.

How to **determine** the age of a land turtle? One of the ways is along the shields of her shell. It consists of carapace (dorsal) and plastron (abdominal). In newborn turtles, the shell is soft, gradually it hardens. The plastron is divided into 16 shields. Carapax has 13 central flaps, on the sides there are 25 more, smaller in size.

On the carapace shields there are grooves that resemble circles on a tree cut. Now you have guessed how to determine the age of a land **turtle**? Yes, just like the age of the tree. along the rings.

## How to determine the age of a land turtle? Two easy ways

The owners wonder how old their pet is, in cases where it fell into their hands from random people. To know how to determine the age of land turtles, you need to know the structure of their shell.

## Determining the age of a turtle in two ways

So, the first way to determine the age of a land turtle is by using concentric rings. They appear on the shields of small turtles already in the first year of life. over, in the first two years, their growth is very intense, one groove on the shell appears after 3-6 months, and then. 1 or 2 rings per year. How old are the old representatives of this species, it is difficult to find out, since the shell becomes smooth, and the grooves are almost invisible.

Their development is greatly influenced by the conditions of detention, as well as whether they sleep in winter. Domestic turtles reach sexual maturity much earlier than their counterparts living in natural conditions, and live longer (up to 20, and under favorable conditions, up to 30 years).

Newborn turtles are 3 cm long, their growth almost doubles (5 cm) per year, and each subsequent year of life adds about 2 cm. Females are much larger than males. Let’s make some simple calculations and find out how to **determine** the age of a land turtle: if, for example, the length of the animal’s shell is 14 cm, then it is about 6 years old.

Of course, these methods of determining age are very approximate, but using both, you can at least roughly find out how long your pet has lived in the world.

## On the rings of growth

The carapace of a free reptile grows cyclically. Therefore, by the appearance of the upper part, you can understand how and how long the reptile lived. The intensity of the process is influenced by the climatic indicators of the area and the schedule of its annual activity. Domestic reptiles live in stable conditions and do not hibernate on schedule. Their armor is less prone to wear and tear, as it is not attacked by predators and does not come into contact with rough terrain. To determine how old a turtle is by its shell, you need to make adjustments for the living conditions of a particular individual.

The dorsal part of the armor is called carapace. It consists of dense shields, which are separated by depressions. The seams between the plates in animals up to 4 years old are light, with age they begin to darken. The scutes on the carapace grow from the middle, which is why centric grooves form on each. They are called growth rings. To find out the age of a red-eared or Central Asian tortoise by its shell, you need to count the number of furrows on the shield.

Herpetologists recommend to deduce the average between the number of rings on several shields, since sometimes the parameter does not coincide.

In individuals under two years of age, a new furrow appears approximately every three months. During this time, the turtle can form 8-12 rings. In a matured reptile, only one ring appears in 12 months. In turtles that did not hibernate, growth rings are indistinct, with blurred boundaries.

## Other signs

The quality of the claws and the condition of the shell will not help in accurately determining the age, but they allow you to distinguish an elderly individual from a mature one. In adult reptiles, the claws are more massive, larger. Young turtles are more active and active, older individuals lead a measured lifestyle.

In burrowing species, carapace deteriorates faster. This is due to friction with the soil while the animal builds and uses the shelter.

Young red-eared turtles have a bright, rich color. Over time, bright streaks fade and merge. The red spots on the sides of the head, which give the species its name, can also indicate the growth phase. In adolescence, they are bright scarlet, later the color darkens and acquires brown shades.

## Size and age

The simplest criterion is the size of the animal’s dorsal armor. Measurements are made in the center with a line along the carapace. It should be straight without taking into account the curvature of the carapace. The parameters of the individual are compared with the average for the species.

Determining the age of a **land** turtle, as well as a freshwater one, grown at home, will not work exactly in size. Getting plenty of food, living at a favorable temperature all year round, the reptile grows faster than its wild relatives. The pet can be noticeably ahead of statistical data in size.

### How to Tell a Turtle’s Age

Common types of domestic turtles. red-eared and Central Asian, do not differ in growth pattern. Newborns hatch with a shell 2.5-3 cm long. By the year they grow up to 5–6 cm. By the second year of life, the difference between females and males becomes noticeable. In the listed species, girls are larger. Two-year-old males grow up to 8 cm, females are one centimeter larger. By the third year, boys are gaining another 2 centimeters, girls about 5. From the fourth year, regardless of gender, turtles grow by 2 cm in 4 seasons.

## How to **determine** the age of a turtle

The turtle is a long-lived animal. At home with good care, a reptile can live up to 50 years. Owners keep track of the pet’s years from the date announced by the breeder or from the date of purchase. You can find out how old the turtle is, the history and life path of which are unknown by external signs.

## Human Age of Turtles

You should not try to derive a formula that will allow a year of a reptile’s life to be equated to a certain human period. For objectivity, it is better to rely on the developmental phases of the animal. This is more difficult for a reptile than for a mammalian pet. There are significant differences in the stages of development of the human body and the turtle.

Childhood is the period from hatching to the onset of puberty. The first visual differences between males and females become noticeable from the age of two. On average, reptiles are able to give birth to offspring by the age of 5 years. In captivity, red-eared and Central Asian turtles live up to 25-30 years, some individuals, with good care, celebrate their 50th anniversary.

The second birthday of a turtle, by human standards, can be compared with the decade of a child. By the age of five, the reproductive system is fully formed in the reptile.

This phase corresponds to the person’s 16th birthday. 20 for a pet is the same as for its owner 50. An animal after 30 can be considered elderly, and should be provided with increased attention.

The comparison is relevant for red-eared and steppe turtles. For breeds with a different development cycle, it should be carried out with the correction for data on a specific species. Similarly, you can compare the age of pets from different families and orders.

### How to determine the age of red-eared turtles?

Unlike land-based counterparts, the size of these reptiles largely depends not only on the conditions of detention, but also on its gender. If in one year the male and female red-eared turtles have approximately the same shell length of about 6 cm, then the female representatives begin to overtake their “gentlemen” a little. At two years old, this difference is already 1 cm (9 cm and 8 cm, respectively). Subsequently, the difference in size only intensifies:

Turtle age Female shell length Male shell length3 years | 14 cm | 10 cm |

4 years | 16 cm | 12 cm |

5 years | 18 cm | 14 cm |

6 years | 20 cm | 17 cm |

At the age of 50, venerable for turtles, at the end of her life, she can even reach a shell length of up to 30 cm.

### How to determine the age of land turtles?

Newly born babies are up to 34 mm long and weigh only some 10-12 grams. At first, they add about 2 centimeters a year, but then, when the length of the shell reaches 18 cm, the growth of the reptile almost completely stops. An approximate table of the length and weight of a turtle in the first years of its life looks like this:

Turtle age Shell length Weight1 year | 3.4 cm | 10-12 g |

2 years | 6 cm | 48-65 g |

3 years | 7.5-9 cm | 95-150 g |

By the age of ten, your land turtle can grow to an impressive size. from 13 to 16 cm.But all these data can be called conditional. After all, the way the owners treat the pet, the quality of the feed, the temperature regime and other parameters greatly affect its growth.

## How to **determine** the age of a turtle?

Not everyone can keep a dog or cat in their apartments. Some do not have the opportunity and time to walk them, others suffer from allergies. Therefore, some pay attention to more exotic animals, but less demanding on the conditions of keeping. Such creatures are terrestrial or aquatic turtles. Some get to their new owners at a respectable age, and they live for a relatively long time, some up to 50 years and more. Unsurprisingly, people are curious about the age of their turtle. I wonder how long she will still live under the same roof with the owners, delighting us with their funny behavior?

### General methods for calculating how old a turtle is

There are some traits that are appropriate for all reptiles, regardless of their species. All turtles have characteristic rings on their shells, which begin to appear at the age of one year. The first two years, the grooves grow relatively quickly, 2-3 pieces are added every six months. But, starting from the age of two, this process slows down, and only one new groove appears in 12 months. How to determine the age of a turtle more accurately? It is necessary to count the rings in several areas of her shell and calculate the average result.

Another way to find out the age of a turtle is to look at the seams between the shells. At first, the carapace remains light, but starting from the age of 4, it begins to darken. Young rings acquire the color of the previous ones, which in turn become even darker. The older age of the reptile is indicated by the oval shape of the shell, its darker color, large claws and a powerful tail.

## Features of determining age

Land turtles are not large reptiles in and of themselves. At birth, their body size is only 30 mm, and their weight is very small. 10 grams. After a year, they grow by almost 2 centimeters. After the diameter of the amphibian shell reaches 18 centimeters, the growth of reptiles stops.

But still, how to determine the age of a **land** turtle? The most correct is the method in which the circles on the shell are counted. And how to find out how old a reptile is using this method? In this case, it is worth exploring the important features:

- after the turtle is born, circles or rings can be immediately seen on the surface of its shell. They are usually located on scales;
- with age, the number of rings becomes larger. In about a year, three rings appear on each scale;
- after that, growth slows down, in the second year, one more ring appears on the surface of the shell.

But in order to accurately find out the age of an amphibian animal using this method, it is worth doing some calculations. First, look at all the grooves and count the number of rings. Further, the resulting amount must be divided by 2.5 (the average increase in the circumference of the shell per year). The result, which is determined in the end, will be as accurate as possible.

Important! Young individuals have a very clear relief on the surface of the shell. But in reptiles in age, over time, it becomes smooth and almost flat, in this case it will be impossible to establish the age.

How old the Central Asian tortoise is can also be determined by the length of the shell. But this definition always provides a reliable result. The shell of turtles grows throughout life, but this can be influenced by various factors. conditions of detention, nutrition.

In the first year, the shell grows to 6 cm, in the second to 8, in the third to 10, and so on. It follows from this that every year an amphibian animal grows by 2 centimeters. But still, you shouldn’t trust this method 100%.

## What difficulties may arise

Turtles are considered centenarians. These amphibious animals can live for almost 120 years. And if, when keeping them at home, all measures of keeping are observed, then the reptiles can outlive not only the owners, but also their children, and even grandchildren.

In captivity, this amphibian animal can be kept in simple conditions, they do not require special care. But you definitely need to equip an aquarium with a large volume, about 150-200 liters. It must maintain a temperature of at least 25-30 degrees.

It is worth noting! Until a certain age, it is almost impossible to establish the sex and how old a land **turtle** is. Full-fledged puberty begins from about 6-8 years old, but visible signs may appear even later than this time.

### How to find out the age of a land turtle?

- Determine the age of the turtle by the shell. It turns out that a simple ruler can help with our interesting calculations. We measure the distance between the extreme points of the shell and compare the result with the following table:
- newborn turtles. shell length about 3 cm;
- age up to 1 year. 5 cm;
- about 2 years old. 6 cm;
- three years. 8 cm;
- four years. 10 cm;
- five years. 12 cm;
- 6 years. 14 cm.

Over time, in captivity, turtles reach lengths of up to 18 cm, and in the wild, the shell of a land reptile sometimes even exceeds 30 cm in size.

In the case of how to **determine** the age of a land turtle, there are many nuances that greatly affect the calculations. Why does this table give only approximate results? A lot is decided by the food and other conditions of your pet. Therefore, even measurements of the length of the shell give only approximate data.

The land turtle is an unpretentious amphibian that quickly adapts at home. It can be started without any problems in an apartment, private house, cottage, while not worrying about her condition, the main thing is to provide proper care and equip her place to stay. over, this reptile is a long-liver. Subject to all the conditions for her, individuals at home can live for more than 100 years. But it is better to know in advance how to determine the age of a land turtle in order to know how old this animal is.

## Features of establishing gender

If a **land** turtle is purchased for breeding, it is important to be able to determine not only age, but also gender. Indeed, for normal fruiting, usually one male and 2-3 females are required.

So how do you determine the sex of a reptile? The following methods will help with this:

- on the claws. Males have thick and long claws;
- on the plastron. In males this part is concave, and in females it is flat;
- females have a brighter eye color, this is necessary to attract the attention of a partner;
- females have a short tail with a thin base. But in males, the opposite is true. a long and wide tail with a thick base.

If you are planning to have a land turtle in the future, then you should definitely know how to determine the sex and age of this reptile. This will help you get the most suitable young animal to use for breeding.

You can find out the age of a turtle by its weight and size. As a rule, turtles are born with a height of 30-34 mm and weighing 10-12 g. By the year of life, **land** turtles grow to 48-52 mm, and their weight by this time ranges from 25 to 35 g. In two years, the reptile reaches 56- 60 mm, and already weighs 48-65 g. The growth of a three-year-old land **turtle** is 75-90 mm, and its weight is 95-150 g. By the age of ten, the turtle grows up to 13-16 cm. Despite the fact that young **land** turtles grow quite. so quickly, with a shell length of 18 cm, their growth slows down significantly, and often stops altogether. Although in nature there are also individuals reaching 25-28 cm in length. By the way, adult females, as a rule, are 2-3 cm larger than males. 2

Owners of **land** turtles should also remember that the size of their pets directly depends on the conditions of detention, the spaciousness of the terrarium, the diet, the frequency of feeding and the addition of calcium to the feed. 3

The age of a land turtle can also be determined by the number of rings on its shell. They, as a rule, appear already at an early age of the reptile, when it is not even a year old. During this period, the most active growth of the land turtle is observed. For a year, 2-3 rings are formed on one scale of the shell. Thus, the older the **land** turtle, the smoother its shell becomes. At the same time, the annual rings fade and become less bright. four

To determine the age of the land **turtle** more accurately, you can count the annual rings on several scales of the shell, and then find their arithmetic mean. five

## How to find out how old a land turtle is

In captivity, the life expectancy of reptiles is significantly reduced, so future owners want to know the exact age of the acquired pet.

We will figure out how to **determine** the age of a land turtle at home and whether it is possible to calculate the age of a reptile in human years.

### Carapace rings

In order to find out how old a **land** turtle is, count the growth rings on the shell shields.

Intensive growth and molting of turtles in the first 2 years of life affects the shell pattern, forming annular grooves on the surface. In a young reptile younger than 1 year old, 2-3 rings appear on each scale, and by 2 years there are already 6. After that, the intensity decreases, and the annual addition of rings is 1-2 pieces.

To determine the number of years, use the following instructions:

- Count the tree rings using multiple scales.
- Calculate the arithmetic mean of the calculated values.
- Subtract 6 annular grooves from the resulting number obtained in the first 2 years of life.
- Divide the resulting number by 1.5. the average number of rings appearing after 2 years.

EXAMPLE: If the arithmetic mean is 21, then the pet is 10 years old. The formula for the calculation will look like this: (21-6) / 1.5 = 10

The disadvantage of this method is the difficulty of counting ring-shaped grooves in elderly reptiles that lose the clarity of the lines on the carapace.

### Appearance

The annular grooves and the length of the carapace are determined by the conditions in which the reptile is kept. The bottom line is influenced by water quality, feeding, terrarium parameters and many other factors.

The approximate number of years can be determined by the appearance of the animal:

- no rings on the plastron. Typical for newborn reptiles less than 1 year old;
- elongated and dark carapace, large claws and tail. Appears at puberty, which occurs in domestic turtles at the age of 5;
- subtle mowing lines of growth (white stripes on the carapace). mowing lines wear off by age 8. The clearer the mowing line, the younger the turtle;
- maximally compressed annular grooves. The close arrangement of the rings to each other indicates that the animal is about 15 years old;
- smooth corneous plates with barely noticeable rings, worn out claws, the presence of chips and roughness on the carapace and plastron. This appearance suggests that the reptile has crossed the 15-year mark.

### Shell length

The age of a land turtle can be found by the length of the shell by measuring the distance between the 2 extreme points of the carapace.

The shell of a newborn turtle is only 3-3.5 cm.After a year, the size increases by 2 cm and continues to grow at the same rate up to 18 cm.When this indicator is reached, growth stops, which prevents the determination of age.

Depending on the length of the shell, the age of the land Central Asian tortoise is as follows:

Shell length (cm) | Age (years) |

3-3.5 | less than 1 |

3.5-6 | 1-2 |

6-8 | 2-3 |

8-10 | 3-4 |

10-12 | 4-5 |

12-14 | 5-6 |

14-16 | 5-7 |

16-18 | 7-8 |

not less than 18 | over 8 |

IMPORTANT! If the length of the carapace reaches 18 cm, then a more accurate age indicator can be understood only with the help of carapace rings.

## The main ways to determine age

In order to determine the age of the Central Asian tortoise, use the following methods:

- determination by the size of the shell, increasing every year by 2 cm;
- counting annular grooves on the carapace, increasing by 2-3 pieces every year of life;
- examination of the appearance of a reptile, which changes as it grows.

Method 2 is recognized as the most reliable, but it also depends on the conditions of keeping the turtle.

### How to determine the age of land turtles?

Newly born babies are up to 34 mm long and weigh only some 10-12 grams. At first, they add about 2 centimeters a year, but then, when the length of the shell reaches 18 cm, the growth of the reptile almost completely stops. An approximate table of the length and weight of a turtle in the first years of its life looks like this:

Turtle age Shell length Weight1 year | 3.4 cm | 10-12 g |

2 years | 6 cm | 48-65 g |

3 years | 7.5-9 cm | 95-150 g |

By the age of ten, your land turtle can grow to an impressive size. from 13 to 16 cm.But all these data can be called conditional. After all, the way the owners treat the pet, the quality of the feed, the temperature regime and other parameters greatly affect its growth.

Unlike land-based counterparts, the size of these reptiles largely depends not only on the conditions of detention, but also on its gender.

If in one year the male and female red-eared turtles have approximately the same shell length of about 6 cm, then the female representatives begin to slightly overtake their “gentlemen”.

At two years old, this difference is already 1 cm (9 cm and 8 cm, respectively). Subsequently, the difference in size only intensifies:

At the age of 50, venerable for turtles, at the end of her life, she can even reach a shell length of up to 30 cm.

### Determine independently the age of the turtle

Circles on the carapace. Among the people, the most famous method for determining the age of a turtle is the number of embossed circles on the shell. It’s like cutting a tree. the more circles, the older the age.

The only feature is that a turtle may have about 2-3 circles in one calendar year, so it is worth taking this factor into account when calculating the number of years lived.

In young people, the special relief of the shell is very clear, in adults, the elderly. it becomes almost flat, smooth. Pay attention to this factor when buying an animal.

If you want to more accurately **determine** the age using this method, count the number of grooves on several scales, determine the arithmetic mean and divide by 2.5 (the average is indicative of the appearance of a circle in 1 year). The result will be as close as possible to the real age of your turtle.

Shell length. There is another method for determining age. by measuring the length of the shell. However, this option may not always give a 100% result.

Of course, the tortoise shell grows throughout its life, but this process is also influenced by the quality of food, housing conditions, and other external signs. So, in 1 year the carapace grows up to 6 cm, in 2. up to 8, in 3. up to 10, and so on.

As a result, it turns out that every year the **turtle** grows by 2 cm.This fact can be taken into account as an additional fact, but using it as the main one is not rational.

Before embarking on a practical experiment to determine the sex of a **turtle**, it is worth noting one indispensable fact: you can find out what gender your **turtle** belongs to only when it reaches 6-8 years of age, with a shell size of 10-12 cm. This is important! Since at an earlier age you will not see any external features of the physique, and the internal organs are completely inaccessible to the eyes, since they are hidden under a strong cover of the shell.

Here are some methods for determining the sex of a turtle. All of them are based on any one of the signs. However, for the most effective diagnosis of gender, it is worth using not only one method, but using them in combination, together with other available ones. Advice! It will be easier to figure out this parameter if you start comparing several special ones with each other.

- Males have longer and thicker claws than females (this is due to the fact that during mating, the turtle boy must cling to the girl’s shell).
- In males, the plastron (abdominal part of the shell) is concave, in females. flat. it is necessary to hold on to the shell.
- Females’ eyes are brighter than males. necessary to attract a mate.
- Male turtles have a long and narrow shell shape, while females have a short and round shape.
- Type of cloaca. in males it resembles a longitudinal fishing line, in females. an image of an asterisk.
- You can also
**determine**the sex of the turtle by behavioral signs. males are more active, constantly come into contact with females, flirt, bite on the neck, nod their heads. - The female has a short tail, and its base is thin. The male has everything exactly the opposite. a wide base, a thick and long tail.

If you examined your pet according to all the above methods, but did not determine the gender, with an accuracy of 100%, you can always use the help of a professional veterinarian, who, thanks to special laboratory tests, will provide the most reliable result.

*It is worth emphasizing once again the fact that self-determination of the sex and age of a turtle is too difficult a task that requires special knowledge and the study of anatomy. If you decide to rely solely on your own strength, do not forget to additionally seek advice from your veterinarian. this way you will avoid further troubles with breeding offspring. *

## Determining the age of the turtle

The growth of turtles can be seen by the light-colored seams between the carapace shields. If the turtle grows quickly, then the new stratum corneum along the periphery of the scutes become very light, then the processes of pigment cells (dermal melanophores) grow there and pigment is transferred along them, usually in the form of thin rays or dark spots. When these growth rings “age”, the pigmented areas will not differ from the previous ones. This is the cost of accelerated growth in captivity. (c) D.B. Vasiliev.

As young turtles grow, the shape of the body and the color of the shell change. The carapace stretches in length and darkens. When the turtle grows up and becomes sexually mature, if it is a male, then it may have a depression on the plastron, a thicker and longer tail, and long claws. Also, the color of the eyes and the color of the nose may change.

Parameters of red-eared turtles, born and living in nature

Age | Newborn | 1 year | 2 year | 3 year | 4 year | 5 year |

Length (males) | 2.5-3 cm | 5-7 cm | 7-9 cm | 8-12 cm | 10-14 cm | 13 cm |

Length (females) | 2.5-3 cm | 5-7 cm | 7-9 cm | 9-15 cm | 13-18 cm | 17 cm |

Parameters of land turtles turtles born and living in nature (by the example of Testudo hermanni)

Age | Newborn | 1 year | 2 year | 3 year | 10 years |

Length | 30-34 mm | 48-52 mm | 56-60 mm | 75-90 mm | 13-16 cm (males) 15-18 cm (females) |

Weight | 10-12 g | 25-35 g | 48-65 g | 95-150 g |

- At home, the growth of the turtle depends on the size of the aquarium / terrarium, the frequency of feeding, the diet, the addition of calcium to the feed.
- It is impossible to know the exact age of a
**turtle**that has not been raised since birth, but approximately it can be determined as follows:

By the size of the tortoise (length of the shell) 2. By the number of rings on the shell: 2-3 rings are formed in 1 year. To be more precise, you can count several scales and then find the average.

But it must be borne in mind that the size and number of rings depends on the conditions of the turtle, as well as whether it hibernated. Rings appear when the turtle is not yet a year old.

In very old specimens, the carapace becomes especially smooth, like in newborns, and the annual rings turn pale.

When calculating the grooves, it should be borne in mind that during the period of active growth: from a newborn to two years of age, the furrows determine the development period from 3 months to six months, and in the future, a near-year period.

### Determination of gender

Having bought a funny turtle, many owners think about breeding offspring, and, as a rule, about acquiring a sexual partner for a pet. However, before introducing a second animal, the sex of the red-eared turtle should be accurately determined, and this question is not an easy one.

It is easiest to find out the sex of a pet at 6-8 years of age, when the turtle shows characteristic signs. However, if you carefully analyze behavior and appearance, you can determine the gender of the turtle in one or two years.

Red-eared turtle. how to determine gender:

- by the size of the claws;
- on the shell;
- along the tail and cesspool;
- having studied the features of behavior.

The first way to determine gender is to compare the length and shape of the claws of the male and the female. Male turtles have irregular and long claws, while girls have short claws with a rounded edge. Considering the fingers of pets, it should be borne in mind that turtles living in captivity have their claws grind on the ground, so this method is not unmistakable.

The second method of establishing is to examine the carapace. To facilitate mating, nature has created a more extended and elongated form of the shell in boys, the female sex has a more rounded and wider shell.

The most common way to tell the sex of a red-eared turtle is to study its tail and cloaca. Having carefully examined the back of the pet, they make a conclusion based on the following statements:

- the tail of the male is longer, thick at the base and tapering towards the end;
- girls have a round, short tail without tapering or extensions;
- the female’s cloaca looks like an asterisk, and is located closer to the shell;
- the male’s cloaca looks like fishing line, and is removed from the shell.

Sex determination is also carried out by comparing the sizes of two opposite-sex adult turtles. It is important that the turtles are of the same age, therefore, in this case, you need to know how to determine the age of a red-eared turtle.

Females are larger and more massive than males, since they carry offspring in the future and lay eggs.

Clearly pronounced signs of gender differences appear during the mating season. turtle boys become more active, behave agilely and try in every possible way to attract the attention of their partner, and females calmly evaluate the behavior of the male.

## Determining the age of a land turtle by shell size

Turtles grow almost throughout their life, which leads to a change in the shell. its size and shape. Other parts of the body also change. the claws and tail become longer. Newborn pets are 3-3.5 cm long. Babies weigh only 10-12 grams. After a year, the dimensions increase by about 1 cm, and the weight. doubled.

Turtles, which are 24 months old, reach a length of about 5.5-6 cm. Their weight is 48-65 grams. During the next year of life, the pets add up to 7.5-9 cm in size. The total weight is from 95 to 150 grams. Ten-year-old animals have a length of 15 cm or more, and weigh from 150 g.

The rate of weight gain and shell growth depends on many factors: the volume of the terrarium, the type and quality of food, the presence of additives, etc.

### Determining the age of a turtle by the number of rings on the shell

There is another way to **determine** the age of a land turtle. It consists in counting the number of rings located on the upper zone of the shell. It is called carapace. To do this, you need to choose one of the clearest scales.

On the latter, you need to count the number of rings that, upon close examination, are grooves. To get more reliable data, it is worth conducting a study on several scales.

If the values fluctuate, then the arithmetic mean should be calculated to obtain reliable data.

During the year, the average turtle will develop 2 to 3 grooves. It all depends on the same living conditions and food system. In young individuals, rings appear faster.

The rate of furrow formation is also influenced by the turtle’s tendency to hibernation. In aged animals, the shell becomes smooth, the color fades significantly.

It is not difficult to determine the approximate age of a pet, it is enough just to carefully observe it for a certain time.

Usually, a person’s character influences the choice of his friends, including pets. If one likes restless. then another silent fish in the aquarium, or a turtle. Choosing a red-eared turtle as a friend, you need to be aware that your friendship can last for more than a dozen years. And throughout this period, her life will depend on you.

Before you buy this amphibian animal, it is not superfluous to inform yourself on the question of how to determine the age of turtles. After all, the considerable age of the pet affects its behavior, as well as it has other requirements for food and living conditions.

### General methods for calculating how old a turtle is

Another way to find out the age of a turtle is to look at the seams between the shells. At first, the carapace remains light, but starting from the age of 4, it begins to darken. Young rings acquire the color of the previous ones, which in turn become even darker. The older age of the reptile is indicated by the oval shape of the shell, its darker color, large claws and a powerful tail.