home Article How to determine how old a land turtle is

How to determine how old a land turtle is

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.

determine, land, turtle

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, and the front ones are four-toed. The carapace is round and low, its color can be of 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 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 plates, 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.

To make the answer more accurate, you can count the rings on 3-5 shields, and then calculate the average value. This method does not give one hundred percent result, because domestic turtles lead a completely different lifestyle than in their natural environment.

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).

There is another way to determine the age of a land turtle. To do this, measure the length of the shell with a ruler. It is known that up to ten years, these reptiles grow fast enough. When they reach a length of about 18-20 cm, their growth slows down and hardly changes. Although in nature there are specimens about 30 cm in size.

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 in size. 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.

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, like a freshwater turtle, 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.

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 gain 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.

On the rings of growth

The carapace of a free reptile grows cyclically. Therefore, by the appearance of the upper part, one 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.

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 gender of a land turtle

So how do you know the gender of a turtle, and finally give it an appropriate name? Unfortunately, for this you will have to wait until the pet reaches puberty, and this period corresponds to 7-8 years of the reptile’s life. over, its shell must be at least ten centimeters long. In order not to wait so long, you will have to resort to another method. You can find out the sex by a number of distinctive external characteristics of the reptile.

For example, on the carapace, or rather, on its abdominal shield. plastron:

  • in females it is practically a flat plane without any depressions and concavities, and in some species the scutellum is even slightly convex;
  • males have, as befits men, a leaner abdomen. their shell has a concave shape, and on the thighs of the hind legs, as a rule, there are growths in the form of spurs.

The state of the shell can confirm the sex of the reptile and its tubercles, which are most pronounced in girls. in males they are initially not so prominent, but every year they are smoothed out more and more, disappearing completely by the age of puberty.

The claws of an animal can also give an idea of ​​who is in front of you. a boy or a girl:

  • In fact, the claws on the turtle’s feet of reptiles of both sexes differ significantly in their length and thickness. The horny plates of males are much longer and stronger. this is due to the fact that during the mating game they need them in order to firmly cling to the female’s shell.
  • Girls do not need such devices, so their claws are short and rather blunt.

At home, on this basis, it can be difficult to determine the sex due to the fact that in captivity, the horny layer of pets can grind on the ground of the terrarium or the turtles do it themselves.

Other characteristics that can help in finding out the sex are the tail and cloaca of the animal:

  • In boys, the tail is wider and longer, hidden under the shell, which in this zone is strongly curved downward. This is due to the fact that the penis is located under it. But the ladies have a short thin tail can be found outside.
  • The cesspool of a reptile is also a subject for research. In females, it is displaced to the edge of the shell and has the shape of a small star, while in the male it is somewhat moved away from the plastron and is presented in the form of a longitudinal strip.

If a marsh turtle has become a pet, it is enough to look into its eyes. usually in females they are amber yellow, and in males they are darker with a brown tint.
It is also possible to assess the sex of an animal in accordance with visual observations of the behavior and size of animals. If several reptiles of the same age are placed in one terrarium, you can immediately notice that some are somewhat larger than others. Females are always more impressive in size, since their reproductive task is to bear and lay eggs.

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Different behavior during the mating season can also betray different sexes in animals. Females, as a rule, behave rather restrained, which cannot be said about males. To attract the attention of his chosen one, the boy will move very actively around the terrarium, nod his head in different directions, wiggle his tail, rising, waving his front legs. A sexually mature male treats his rivals aggressively. he can attack them, bite and strike with clawed paws, try to turn the opponent onto his back.

How to determine the gender and age of a land turtle

Those who decide to start breeding turtles need to know by what signs the sex of an animal can be determined. It turns out that this is not as easy as it seems at first glance. outwardly, boys and girls are almost indistinguishable, unlike other animals. It is equally important to know how long this reptile lives in its natural environment and at home, and for this, again, you will have to arm yourself with some information.

How to determine the age of a turtle

Sometimes a pet comes to us from an unknown owner, and there is no one to ask about it, but it is very important to know about the age of the pet.

One way to find out is to calculate the age arithmetically, based on the fact that every year a newborn reptile measuring 3 centimeters and weighing 10 g grows by 2 cm.This is the average rate adopted for all representatives of land reptiles of medium and small sizes. Accordingly, a pet by the age of 10 will have a length of about 18-20 centimeters. But do not forget that some species of turtles are distinguished by more active growth of females.

Another way is to study the corneous carapaces, which become more and more rigid every year. During the first year, up to 2-3 light layers are formed, and after five years they tend to darken, after which such “rings” begin to appear in the turtle every year. You can distinguish an old turtle by its pale shell, devoid of a bright pattern.

How long does a land turtle live at home

The lifespan of land turtles depends on external and internal factors, in particular on the environment in which they live, as well as on the physiological characteristics of the organism of this animal species.

Representatives of wild nature live for about 150 years and the larger the individual, the longer its life span, while domestic turtles can live next to a person for no more than 50-60 years, although this is not a short period. Of course, proper care and nutrition of a small pet play a major role in this.

Scientists explain such a big difference by the fact that in its natural environment the animal, in fact, is constantly on a forced diet, while continuously moving in search of food. This gives her certain advantages, which are deprived, for the most part, of their domestic brethren, literally fed to death. This is why veterinarians regularly remind owners to avoid overeating.

The age of the land turtle is not at all an obstacle to its active, cognitive activity, and it does not matter that the animal is not a model of speed. this amazing reptile can live and please its owners for quite a long time, if the owner takes real care of his little unusual pet.

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 the age of 2 years they become 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 lines on the carapace.

Shell length

The age of a land turtle can be determined 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 only be understood with the help of carapace rings.


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 growth lines (white stripes on the carapace). Lines wear out by age 8. The clearer the lines, 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.

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.

Human Age of Turtles

In the wild, Central Asian turtles live for about 50 years, and at home only 15. Rare individuals live up to 30 years with a very careful attitude and competent care from the owner.

In order to calculate the age of a reptile by human standards, we will start from the following indicators:

  • Average life expectancy. In a domestic turtle, it is 15 years old, in a human. about 70 years.
  • Physiological maturity. At home, reptiles become sexually mature by the age of 5. In humans, sexual maturity is reached at the age of 15.

According to the indicators taken into account, the approximate ratio will look like this:

Turtle age (years) Human Age (years)
one 3
2 6
3 9
four 12
five 15
6 27
7 31
8 36
9 40
ten 45
eleven fifty
12 54
thirteen 59
14 63
15 70

Unlike in the wild, where maturity occurs only at 10 years of age, domestic living conditions that reduce overall life expectancy stimulate early maturity, which allows you to have offspring before death.

Due to the rapid maturation of the turtle, early wear and tear of the body begins, which is reflected in the change in the ratio after reaching maturity.

IMPORTANT! Due to too many factors affecting life expectancy, the figures presented are not absolute values ​​and are only suitable for approximate calculation.

The considered methods have many nuances, but they allow you to calculate the approximate age of the pet. Before buying a turtle, check the age with the seller and be sure to check the information yourself.

How to find out how old a land turtle is

The turtle is one of the most unpretentious pets, it does not bother anyone or anything, does not create unnecessary trouble for its owners, gets along well with other pets. In addition, children like the reptile for its unusual appearance and house, which it always carries on itself. The only difficulty in keeping it is determining its age and sex, of course, if it is important for breeding turtles.

How old are you turtle?

How to determine the age of a land turtle by its shell? In order to find out how old a reptile is, two methods are used. by the size of the shell, and by the number of relief circles on it.

The tortoise shell consists of two parts. This is the abdominal part. plastron, and the dorsal part. carapace. The plastron consists of 16 shields, and the carapace consists of 13 central and 25 side shields, the latter being smaller. If you look closely, you will notice that on each of the shields there are concentric rings that resemble circles on the cut of a log. These rings determine the age of the reptile. how many stripes-rings, so many years the turtle has lived since its birth.

Rings are visible on the carapaces of young reptiles already in the first months of life. At first, they grow very quickly, one ring is formed every 4-6 months, then 1-2 rings appear a year. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the age of a turtle with great accuracy using this method, although for a creature capable of living up to 120 years, 1-2-3 years are not of great importance. For a more accurate calculation of age, you can count the rings on several shields, and then find the arithmetic mean.

In addition, the number of rings is influenced by the living conditions and nutrition of the reptile. For example, turtles living at home eat better, therefore they do not always hibernate, they may have more rings on their shields, they reach sexual maturity faster, and can live longer than their wild relatives.

To determine the age of a turtle, you can measure the length of its shell with a ruler. On average, a turtle grows up to 18-20 cm in length, less often there are individuals up to 30 cm in size.This stops their growth.

Considering that the length of newborn turtles is only 3 cm, and on average they grow by 2 cm per year, the calculation is very simple. We measure the length of the carapace of the reptile and find out that it is 17 cm. Subtract 3 cm. the length at birth, we get 14 cm and divide by two (this is an increase in centimeters per year), the result is 7 years. Thus, a turtle with a shell 17 cm long lived in the world for at least 6 and no more than 8 years.

In old turtles, the shields and rings on the shell are erased, it becomes smooth. Therefore, when buying, among other things, they pay attention to the state of the shell. it should be embossed and clear

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The age of a reptile can be recognized by the color and shades of the shell. In young people, the carapace is light, the seams between the shields do not stand out in color, but darken with age.

In an adult turtle, the shell is oval, the claws are large, and the tail is thick. in a young individual they are in the process of growth and do not differ in either large size or special strength.

The age of red-eared turtles is determined by first knowing their sex. At a young age, representatives of both sexes have a shell of the same length, on average, it is 6-7 centimeters. By the age of two, females begin to grow faster, and are 1 cm ahead of males, but the gap increases with age. So, at 3 years old, the female will grow up to 20 cm, and the male. up to 17 cm.

Reptile features

The land turtle naturally lives in the deserts and steppes of Central Asia, therefore it is called the steppe or Central Asian. The reptile feeds exclusively on plant food, but will not refuse additional food in the form of insects. dragonflies, butterflies and beetles. At home, the turtle can be fed with grass, vegetables and fruits. In winter, animals hibernate, during this period they do not eat anything, and only come out of hibernation in spring.

The turtle is a real long-liver, taken into the house in childhood, in favorable conditions, it will easily outlive its owners, their offspring. children and grandchildren. And by inheritance goes to the great-grandchildren. The average life span of a turtle is from 30 to 120 years, and its sexual maturity occurs by the age of 6 to 10 years, until then, determining its sex is not possible.

Turtles breed by laying eggs. The sexually mature female mates with the male and lays several eggs every two days. The turtle lays eggs in a hole dug by itself, or left over from other animals. The burrow of a turtle in the steppe or desert can be recognized by the semicircular rampart of loose earth, which is located above the entrance to the depression.

In one burrow there are 5-6-7 small eggs with a white strong shell, the size of a pigeon’s egg. Turtles from them appear in the period from August to October, but they come out of the shelter only next spring. All this time, they do without food, and live off the nutrients from the yolk sac of eggs.

Boy or girl?

The sex of a reptile can be determined only after its shell reaches a length of 12-14 cm, at an early age it is impossible to distinguish between them. It is best to determine the sex of turtles by comparing both sexes.

The male’s claws will be longer and thicker. The abdominal part of the shell is a plastron in males, concave, and in females, flat. Females’ eyes with a brighter color are their only adornment, and the only way to attract a mate.

The shape of the shell in boys is long and narrow, and in girls it is round and short.

The cloaca in males is in the form of a longitudinal line, and in females. in the form of an asterisk. The tail of males is wide at the base, and thick along its entire length. In females, it is thin at the base and short.

The sex of reptiles is also determined by their behavior: males are more active, show more interest in females, flirt, nod their heads, bite on the neck.

To correctly determine the sex and age for breeding turtles in captivity, it is better to contact veterinarians for advice, who will be able to more accurately answer these questions.

How to find out the gender of a land turtle

Breeding turtles requires the selection of a pair of the same species. a female and a male. But often determining the sex of a turtle presents some difficulties, because they do not have clearly expressed sex differences. However, there are some signs by which you will be able to determine the gender of a land turtle.


You can find out the age of a turtle by its weight and size. As usual, turtles are born with a height of 30-34 mm and a weight of 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 weighs more 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 even up to 13-16 cm. Despite the fact that young land turtles grow enough. so quickly, with a shell length of 18 cm, their growth slows down much, and repeatedly stops completely. True, in nature there are also individuals reaching 25-28 cm in length. By the way, adult females, as usual, are 2-3 cm larger than males.

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

It is also permissible to determine the age of a land turtle by the number of rings on its shell. They, as usual, arise at an early age of the reptile, when it is not even a year old. During this period, a particularly vigorous growth of the land turtle is tracked. For a year, 2-3 rings are formed on one scale of the shell. Thus, the older the land turtle, the more smooth its shell becomes. At the same time, annual rings fade and become less bright.

In order to determine the age of the land turtle, or rather, it is allowed to count the annual rings on several scales of the shell, and then find their arithmetic mean value.

But this method of determining the age of a land turtle cannot be called 100% correct. Tea, the number of rings on the scales of the shell of a wonderful reptile also depends on the data of the table of contents, and the number of its hibernations, and the quality of food.

How to determine the age of a land turtle

Many modern people choose as pets not shaggy cats or the right dogs and not even brilliant parrots, but real land turtles. With positive and gentle care, these extraordinary reptiles can live at home for up to 50 years. often than everyone, land turtles fall into the zealous hands of their owners as adults. Consequently, in the distance, not all the owner of a reptile can say with confidence how old his pet is. In fact, determining the age of a land turtle is not that difficult.

How to find out how old a land turtle is

Turtles are one of the most stunning animals, over which time is practically not powerful. Experts say that over the past 200 million years, turtles have not changed either externally or in their way of life. Many people are fond of raising land turtles in their homes as domestic animals. These slow creatures do not require special care, and the duration of their life can be many decades.


Turtles are true long-livers of the animal world. Many of them live up to 150 years or even longer. Do you know how old your pet is? In reality, it is virtually impossible to correctly determine the age of a land turtle, but the approximate number of years can be determined using the following tips from experienced breeders.

The age of a turtle can be determined by the size of its shell. The turtle continues to grow throughout each life, its shell becomes longer, and also noticeably changes shape. In older turtles, more long claws and a long tail are tracked. If you have a Central Asian land tortoise, then the age-to-length ratio is as follows. A newborn turtle reaches a length of 3 to 3.5 cm and weighs about 10-12 grams. At the age of one year, the turtle reaches a length of 4.5-5 cm, and weighs 25-35 g. At 2 years old, the turtle reaches 5.5-6 cm and weighs 48-65 grams, at 3 years old. 7.5-9 cm and weight 95-150 g, at 10 years old. length from 15 cm and weight from 150 g. The growth rate of the turtle at home depends on the size of the terrarium, the quality of the feed, special additives and other factors.

The 2nd method for determining the age of a turtle is by counting the rings on the top of the shell (scientifically called carapace). Select one scale on the carapace and count how many groove rings there are. For a more accurate determination of age, you can count the number of grooves on several scales, and then find the arithmetic mean. In one year, a turtle develops 2-3 grooves, depending on feeding and lifestyle. In young turtles, rings grow much faster than in older animals. In addition, the number of rings depends on whether the turtle often hibernates. In older turtles, the shell becomes more smooth, and the rings slowly fade.

What types of turtles live on Earth

A similar distribution of all land turtles existing on our planet occurs, mainly in accordance with the geographical origin:. overseas turtles (coal, Argentinean, forest and elephant turtles), which have a shell length from 25 to 122 centimeters and inhabit the territory of South America and the Galapagos Islands;. Asian (chestnut and sunken) with a shell length of 30-60 centimeters. They live in the tropical forests of South and Southeast Asia;. land turtles (star, leopard, spurred, Burmese), which have a shell distance of 25-70 centimeters and live in the steppe zones of Africa and South Asia;. Indian (yellow-headed Indian. Indian and Celebesskaya) with a shell length of up to 30 centimeters and a habitat. South and Southeast Asia;. Madagascar turtles (radiant and Madagascar beak-breasted) with a shell length of 40-50 centimeters. Are endemic to Madagascar;. huge with a shell length of up to 120 centimeters;. gophers (desert western gophers, Texas gophers, Mexican gophers, polyphemous gophers). The maximum length of their shell is 40 centimeters, and the habitat is the USA and Mexico;. flat-bodied turtles;. flexible with a shell length in adults of 15-18 centimeters and spread in Kenya and Tanzania;. spiders (spider and flat-tailed). endemics of Madagascar. They have a maximum shell length of 15 centimeters;. South African stellate turtles (geometric, ocellated and gnarled) inhabiting South Africa;. European land (fringed, Mediterranean, Balkan and Egyptian) with a maximum shell length of 35 centimeters; kiniksa, smooth);. Central Asian turtles. The latter species of turtles has a hefty fascinating characteristic specificity. Central Asian turtles can hiss like a gyurza snake.

How many years does a land turtle live

Land turtles are a fairly well-known species of pets among Russian owners of animal species, one that is still considered quite exotic until now. In our country, each of several species of turtles are widespread, therefore, only a few animal lovers know that in each world there are about 40 species with different lifetimes.


If you look closely at the turtle’s tail. then it is allowed to determine the gender by its signs. In males, it is traditionally long and close, and at the end there is an original outgrowth, one that resembles a claw in shape. The cloaca of males has the shape of a longitudinal strip. Females have a wide and short tail. At its end there is no claw-shaped outgrowth, and the cloaca rather resembles an asterisk.

The sex of turtles is often determined by spurs. The male of the Central Asian land tortoise has one horny tubercle, the one on the back of the thigh. Females have at least 3 such tubercles on their thighs.

There are also etiological signs of sex determination in land turtles. This method is based on the ability to all the features of the behavior of male turtles during the marital period. Mating tournaments begin between males, during which they chase each other, trying to overturn a competitor on the shell. Strike with the front edge of their shell and try to bite the competitor all the time.

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Size also has a special meaning, you should not think that the male should be larger than the female (as is commonly believed). In fact, in this case, the opposite is true: adult females are much larger than adult males of land turtles.

Knock over the turtle and get a good look at the plastron (the belly side of the shell). Males have a pronounced concave plastron, with the help of this shape, it is easier for the male to hold onto the female’s body during mating. Females have a more flat plastron.

Take the turtle in your hands and make out the legs. The claws of males are much longer than those of female turtles. But in this case, you need to have several turtles in order to have something to compare.

In fact, it is impossible with a definite and one hundred percent accuracy to judge the field of turtles until their age reaches six years, and the shell grows up to 11 centimeters.

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.

How to Determine a Turtle’s Age | Pet Turtles

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.

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 shell of amphibians 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%.

Peculiarities of determining the age of the land turtle

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.

How many turtles live at home

Oddly enough, at home, these reptiles live about the same as in the wild. This is due to the balance of risk factors: in nature they are threatened by predators, in humans. by neglect of the rules of care.

Their lifespan is influenced by:

  • conformity of the diet;
  • conditions (lighting, temperature, volume of the aquarium);
  • timely detection and treatment of diseases and other problems;
  • risk of injury (such as falling from a height or injury from another pet).

Small species in captivity live up to 30, less often. 50 years. In good zoos, their life is longer than in nature, this is due to caring for them in old age, which prolongs their life.


Sea turtles are a superfamily that lives in the warm waters of the seas and oceans. Outwardly, they are quite different from their land relatives. the legs are very similar to flippers, the shell is more elongated, the limbs and head do not retract. The length varies from 70 to 140 centimeters. They are not kept at home, in captivity they are found mainly in large zoos or aquariums. Live for about 80 years.

Life expectancy of turtles at home and in the wild

When choosing a pet for a family, people take into account many factors: allergies, housing size, lifestyle and daily routine, financial capabilities, readiness for difficulties. One of the important indicators is the potential lifespan of a pet. not everyone is ready to take an animal that will live long enough to become practically a member of the family, for someone three years in the company of a hamster is enough. Therefore, before starting, for example, a decorative turtle, it is worth finding out how long they live.

How to Tell a Turtle’s Age


Aquatic, they are also European water turtles belong to the Asian freshwater. They live in the Middle East, southern Africa, found in Japan, China, Vietnam. Small, grows up to a maximum of 30 centimeters.

A characteristic feature is a smooth monochromatic or colorful carapace. They are very popular as pets and are often kept in an aquarium. These turtles live for about 50 years (in captivity, about the same as in natural conditions).

Life span of turtles

Although turtles are considered champions for longevity, this opinion is largely based on isolated cases among large species. The statistics of the survival rate of young animals, for example, are very small. the population increases due to the large number of eggs in the clutch, at best 60% of the eggs hatch, at worst. about 5%, the rest are eaten by predators. Babies are also tasty prey: about half of babies are eaten.

Only a few live up to thirty, it is believed that the generation cycle of a turtle is on average 20 years. How many years a particular individual lives, in many respects also depends on the factor of luck.

The larger the species, the longer its representatives live: small. about half a century, medium. 80 years, the age of large turtles (for example, Galapagos and Seychelles) can reach two hundred years.

in captivity, it can both extend the life of an animal due to comfortable conditions and the absence of external threats, and reduce it in case of improper care / feeding. domestic turtles are often susceptible to various diseases.


Land turtles are a collective name for more than ten genera. The habitat is wide, distributed in the warm latitudes of Asia, America, Africa and southern Europe. Mostly found in open spaces (steppes, forest-steppe, deserts), but can also live in forests (humid / tropical).

Animals ranging in size from small (about ten centimeters) to very large (found on island archipelagos), characteristic features. thick legs, rounded shell, spliced ​​fingers. The diet is predominantly vegetable.

They live from 50 to 100 years, exactly how much depends on the specific species and external factors. Land turtles are quite popular pets (mainly European land turtles). At home, their average life expectancy is 40 years.

How to determine the age of a land turtle

The most accurate way to find out how old a turtle is is by radiocarbon analysis of its shell. This is how the titles of “the oldest turtles in the world” were confirmed. Obviously, such a procedure cannot be carried out on a living reptile, so less accurate, but safe methods are usually used.

  • The first is to focus on the length of the shell. It changes quite evenly; it grows about two centimeters a year. Knowing the initial length (at birth it is 3 centimeters with an insignificant error), it is worth making simple measurements and calculations. and the answer is obvious. For example, a turtle is 30 centimeters long. During her life, the carapace increased by 30-3 = 27. The resulting 27 is divided by 2 and we find that the measured individual has lived for about 13.5 years.

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  • Another, less accurate and requiring more observation method, is the counting of annual rings. Since this is not a log, you do not need to saw it. We will count the rings on the scales of the shell. It should be borne in mind that this method gives a more accurate result on young individuals; in old men, the shell is smoothed out. If there are six or less rings, the age is 1-2 years. Then every year 2-3 additional rings are formed. Therefore, age is calculated using the formula: (x-6): 1.52, where x is the number of rings. For a more accurate result, x can be deduced from the arithmetic mean over several scales.

It is also worth remembering that any methods do not give one hundred percent accuracy of the result, since the formation and growth of an animal also depends on its health, diet and conditions of detention.

Central Asian

The Central Asian tortoise belongs to the Land family, the European genus. A characteristic feature is a patchy carapace of yellow and brown shades divided into sectors.

It is found in Central Asia, in deserts, foothills, near water bodies. It belongs to medium-sized in size. about 20 centimeters long. Live for about 50 years, in captivity for about 30.