How to tell the gender of a turtle: general nuances
No matter how hard you strive to find out its gender when purchasing this exotic pet, it is almost impossible to do this, unless you are offered an adult. Typically, in most species of turtles, sex-identifying traits appear by the time they reach puberty. If you have only one turtle in your house, then you will have to focus on the standard differences in appearance inherent in these animals. If you have several of them or have the opportunity to compare your pet with similar pets of your friends, then the most accurate answer to what gender your turtles are can be given by a comparative analysis of the behavior of these animals.
How to tell the gender of a turtle by its appearance
To find out the sex of a turtle, you should pay attention to the following features of the anatomical structure of these animals.
The carapace in males is more elongated, elongated in comparison with the carapace in females. The belly side of the tortoise shell (plastron) is one of the most characteristic features by which you can quickly and easily recognize the sex of the animal. One has only to turn the turtle over. and there will be noticeable differences: the back of the plastron in the male is slightly concave, and in the female it is flat, which ensures the convenience of mating of these animals. True, this applies only to sexually mature individuals, the length of the shell of which reaches 11 cm.In most species of turtles, males are usually smaller than females.
Nature has endowed male turtles with longer and wider tails at the base than females. The shape of the tail will also serve as an additional definition. In males, the tail is usually bent to the ground, while in females it is very short and straight.
In the female tortoise, the anus is located closer to the upper part of the shell and the tip of the tail and has the shape of an asterisk, while in males. in the form of an elongated line. Another distinctive feature of these animals is their claws. In males on the front legs, they are, as a rule, much longer than in females (with the exception of panther turtles, in which the opposite is true). Male box turtles have thickened claws on the front and curved downward on the hind legs.
Males of the Caroline box turtles have a red iris of the eyes, and in marsh turtles the eyes of females are yellowish and dark brown in males, which in this type can also be distinguished by a whitish upper lip. The distinctive features of female turtles include more developed jaws than males. Male red-eared turtles are distinguished by a pointed muzzle with a longer nose than females.
Determining the sex of a turtle: 5 differences
Sex determination is especially important for turtle offspring. But since these animals do not have a pronounced sex characteristic, it is difficult to say unequivocally where is the “boy” and where is the “girl”. Therefore, being the owner of such an exotic animal and wondering how to distinguish the sex of a turtle, you will have to show special observation, paying attention to the study of the distinctive external characteristics of your pet and the peculiarities of its behavior in a group of congeners.
How to tell if a turtle is sleeping or not
How to tell the sex of a turtle: behavior analysis
To determine the sex, it would be ideal to observe your pet in the company of his relatives. Male turtles are more active and pronounced, especially during the mating season, aggressive behavior, and females usually tend to hide their heads in their shells more often. In the company of their own kind, male turtles show increased aggression: they bite on the paws of females and fight with shells with other males. During the mating season, the male actively flirts with the female: he flies in front of her muzzle and specifically shakes his head.
How to tell if a turtle is dead or hibernating?
So the death of the turtle has already been determined. The suppleness of the limbs is just soft skin, it is flexible during life, stretches strongly, and at death it is less stretchy, just flexible.
How a turtle behaves in hibernation if it is alive:
The limbs are elongated, but bent. the turtle is dead, in a living limb they do not stick out constantly, unless the turtle is basking on a pebble under UV rays.
The head can be pushed into the shell. dead, the living will not allow itself to push anything even in hibernation, it will pull it in by itself, albeit slowly (when in hibernation).
Then the head stretches itself out. it is dead, a live turtle will not stretch its head immediately after they tried to shove it into the shell.
It does not show signs of life. it is dead, a live turtle always reacts to any touch, even in hibernation! Taking the sleeping turtle in our hands, we touch only the shell and the turtle reacts to it! Wiggles its paws, turns its head, pulls in the neck and hides its head, twirls its eyes under the eyelids and other signs of movement.
How else can you tell if a turtle is alive or not:
You can also understand that the turtle is alive if you put it on your palm so that its shell (peritoneum) lies on the bulge of the index finger on the inside of the palm, this is the beginning of the first phalanx. Holding the turtle with its belly in the palm of your hand as described, you can feel the impulses of its heartbeat, but not everyone can feel the heartbeat this way. Only those who have sensitive skin and experience holding a turtle in the palm of their hand. Sometimes you can even hear the pet’s heart beating faster than usual, and it happens during the period of her fright, panic. Turtles are afraid of new environments, unknown objects, they are afraid of everything when they see it for the first time (even a fallen leaf from a tree will scare her the first time until she studies it).
An example of a dead turtle. from below on the shell, in addition to the picture, dark spots are visible.
How to understand the turtle died or went into hibernation?
How to tell if a turtle is sleeping or not
How to tell if a turtle is alive or dead? Or maybe she’s hibernating?
Many turtle breeders have such questions sooner or later.
In this article we will try to talk about how to determine at home whether the turtle is dead or is it just sleeping.
So, let’s start with the fact that turtles are cold-blooded creatures, that is, their body temperature depends on the ambient temperature. Therefore, when the air temperature drops in winter, they can go into hibernation.
But in a city apartment, the air temperature usually does not drop below 20-22 degrees. Therefore, most often all turtles in winter in city apartments do not hibernate, but simply become more lethargic and eat poorly.
But still, if your turtle does not show signs of life, try the following tricks in order to understand if it is alive or dead:
- Check the corneal reflex. Place a metal spoon over the turtle’s eye. If she reflexively pulls her eye into orbit, or even opens it, then she is alive. If not, the probability that the turtle died is high.
- If the turtle has its head and limbs pulled into its shell, it is most likely alive. And if they are stretched and dangling, not responding to touch, then it is most likely that the turtle has died.
- If the turtle pulls the lower jaw down, opening the mouth, then after you remove your finger, the live turtle should close its mouth. If the mouth does not close, then the turtle already has rigor mortis and is dead.
- If the water turtle is placed in warm water (30-31 degrees), then the living turtle should start moving its limbs. If the turtle is dead, then it will not move them.
- After 2-3 days, the dead turtle will give off an unpleasant smell of decay.
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How To Take Care of A Sick Turtles
What do turtles die from, how to determine the death of a pet
Decorative reptiles in comfortable home conditions live long enough in comparison with other popular pets, with decent maintenance and feeding, the life of terrestrial and aquatic turtles is about 20-30 years. But more often than not, turtles do not even live up to their maturity and can die due to a banal violation of conditions of detention, infectious diseases or a lack of vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately, only 2% of turtles die from old age when kept at home. In older reptiles, the body gradually ages, as a result of which the domestic turtle dies from chronic systemic diseases. often, the causes of death of exotic animals at home are:
How to tell if a turtle is dead
It is possible to understand that the red-eared or Central Asian tortoise is dying by changing the behavior of the reptile. Signs of a deadly illness in unusual pets include the following:
- lack of appetite;
- lack of response to stimuli;
- the reluctance of the aquatic reptile to be in the water;
- shortness of breath, wheezing, whistling;
- coughing, sneezing;
- puffy closed eyes;
- swelling of the limbs;
- stratification and deformation of the carapace scutes;
- hind limb failure;
- ulcers and weeping wounds on the skin and shell.
Old reptiles can die in their sleep without previous clinical symptoms of diseases; in this case, it is impossible to know in advance the possible date of death of a pet. It often happens that a recently active turtle suddenly stops showing signs of life. Wild reptiles hibernate in autumn and summer to survive unfavorable periods. This natural instinct is also preserved in pets, therefore, in order not to bury the animal alive, it is necessary to check whether the turtle is alive.
You can determine that the turtle is dead, and not in hibernation, using the following methods:
- Corneal reflex test. A living reptile, in response to the touch of a metal object to the cornea of the eye, reflexively draws the organ of vision into the orbit or opens the eye. In the absence of a response, the death of the animal can be assumed.
- Determination of breath. If you closely observe the nostrils of a sleeping reptile, you can notice their slight fluttering. You can put a mirror at the reptile’s beak, it will fog up from the moist exhaled air. Lack of breathing indicates death of the animal.
- The position of the limbs and head. Turtles sleep with their paws and head pulled into the shell; muscle tone can exist only in a living creature. If the limbs and neck are drooping, the reptile is most likely dead.
- Pulling back the lower jaw. You can gently pull back the lower jaw, which in a healthy animal should reflexively close when the hand is released. An open jaw indicates rigor mortis of the animal.
- Response to water in aquatic turtle species. When a freshwater or marine reptile is placed in water with a temperature of 30-31C, the animal begins to move its limbs. The absence of such a reaction most often indicates the death of a pet.
- Determination of the color of the oral mucosa. When opening the jaw, it is recommended to examine the pet’s mouth. In a living animal, the color of the mucous membrane is pink, in a corpse it is light gray.
- The appearance of a cadaverous odor. If after 2-3 days the smell of cadaveric decomposition emanates from a motionless animal, there is no longer any need to doubt the death of the reptile.
Before you get an exotic pet, it is recommended to carefully study the physiology, feeding and care of an unusual animal. Due to the physiological characteristics of reptiles, it can be difficult to determine the signs of death of a pet, a sleeping pet looks like a dead turtle. In order to avoid irreparable consequences, if there are doubts that the turtle has died, it is worth contacting a herpetologist.
Red-eared turtle hibernation
There are several different species of red-eared turtles that differ in size. It is not difficult to keep them at home, but some species require the organization of sleep, and in this regard, the owners have a number of questions:
- Does a red-eared turtle need hibernation if it is not in natural conditions??
- Why do they hibernate?
- What you need to do to prevent the turtle from falling asleep?
- What is the function of hibernation for turtles?
- What is the sleep period of a red-eared turtle?
The fact that the turtle should organize hibernation can be determined by the following external signs: the turtle moves little, and, at the same time, often yawns. She can hide in the corner of the aquarium and stay there for a long time. To begin with, you should consult a veterinarian and, if her behavior is not associated with some kind of illness, begin preparing the turtle for hibernation.
Is My Turtle Sleeping or Dead??
Two months before hibernation begins, the turtle should increase its diet and the number of feedings. This is so that the turtle can stock up on all the nutrients it needs. During hibernation, the turtle loses up to half of its weight.
During the last week, the turtle is not fed at all, and during the day it needs to arrange several bath procedures so that it can completely empty its intestines.
But that’s not all, the main thing is to find a suitable place with temperatures ranging from 1 ° C to 6 ° C. A cold basement may turn out to be such a room, but it is very difficult to find it these days. It is necessary to accustom her to such a temperature gradually, otherwise she may die if she is immediately transferred to such a place.
But that’s not all. It is very important that high humidity is maintained in such a place. You can prepare a special mixture of leaves and moss: the moss will retain moisture, and the leaves will freely let air through. In this state, she can be from 3 to 5 months.
Hibernation of red-eared turtles at home
Usually, when keeping turtles at home, they do not need hibernation, especially if the optimal temperature regime is maintained. They can hibernate either at low temperatures or at high temperatures, thus saving themselves from cold or heat, and sometimes from lack of food.
But there are specimens that are ready to hibernate, regardless of the conditions of detention. In this case, they should be helped and organized a kind of wintering. Hibernation of red-eared turtles has a positive effect on individuals in terms of obtaining offspring.
Getting the turtle out of hibernation
The process of bringing the turtle out of hibernation is gradual. To begin with, they raise the air temperature in the room, and then bathe the turtle in warm water. After wintering, it will be difficult for the turtle to return to normal life, therefore, for the first 2-3 days it does not need to be fed, and then you can gradually offer it one or another food in small quantities. As soon as the pet starts to eat, then everything is in order, and he is ready to start a new life.
As can be seen from the organization of the process, this is a rather difficult process, which is very difficult to organize artificially. In nature, the turtle itself knows when to hibernate, what needs to be done and how long it needs to sleep. over, she does the way out of hibernation on her own, since her body is programmed in the appropriate way. In addition, she herself is able to find the appropriate place, especially since in natural conditions this is not a problem.
It is much more difficult to organize this process at home, so everything must be done so that the turtle does not sleep.