Red-eared slider turtles, when faced with either a competitor or potential mate, will extend their arms towards the other turtle and wiggle their claws in front of their face. If the other turtle is another male, he will flutter in response.
As we can see in the gif above, Leo and Raph seem to be using their “fluttering” as a form of non-verbal communication, but in this circumstance to establish mutual understaind on what is required of them in their next move during a mission.
I had three slider turtles surrendered today - three. Two are babies, like the little one shown up top. Yes, they were each surrendered in one of those. One is an adult female, pictured below with the turtle “habitat” on her back for comparison. All are in neglected condition with poor shell health.
This is what you need to understand when getting a turtle. 1. The little baby turtles sold on the beach, the fair, at flea markets, in little hole-in-the-wall shops? Are illegal. Turtles under 4″ in general are not being legally sold. This has been a federal law since about the mid-70′s due to salmonella outbreaks linked to the turtles (google it if you don’t believe me). Anyplace selling these turtles for any reason other that research or education is doing so illegally and, if they come in a little “habitat” like the one shown here, unscrupulously. 2. Turtles can not survive in tiny critter keepers. They should live 30+ years but most will only make it a few months in such containers. Why? Well: 3. Turtles need 5-10g of water (not tank, water) per inch of shell length to keep clean and happy. What’s more, they need: 4. Heat and UVB to digest, absorb calcium, and grow. Both of the tiny turtles we got in today have severely soft shells from calcium deficiency, and one has a mild respiratory infection from inadequate heat. 5. They also need filtration to help keep clean, or they can develop shell rot, bacterial infections, eye infections, etc. Even with a filter, expect large WEEKLY water changes. 6. A dry area to get totally out of the water to bask. Lacking a basking spot can lead to shell rot, which can go bone deep and be lethal. 7. A nutritious, fortified diet, PLUS fresh foods. Baby turtles need plenty of protein items while adult (sliders) will need a good portion of their diet to be vegetation. Those crappy oversized pellets baby turtles are sold with are not complete nutrition in and of themselves. 8. Finally, turtles need educated owners committed to a high-maintenance, long lived, LARGE pet with significant space requirements. Slider turtles and cooters, the most common species sold in those horrid little boxes, can grow to over a foot in length. The big girl pictured could still easily put on another 5″ or more in size and will need to live in a good hundred gallon tank (at least) to be happy and healthy.
Don’t be an impulsive, uneducated, crummy pet owner. Only get a turtle if you’re ready to provide everything - I mean everything - they need to grow, survive, and thrive.
And yes, the turtles pictured are now all living in spacious, filtered, heated, UVB’d environments to recover from their negligent care.
These aquatic creatures can range from 5 to 12 inches in size and are encompassed by an oval carapace or hard shell. Young hatchlings have a green carapace and skin with markings and stripes dependent upon their species. With age the carapace and skin become less distinct because of the increase in black pigment. In nature, sliders usually live in swampy areas where there is a lot of mud and vegetation, such as shallow ponds and lakesides In addition to swimming and digging in rocks and mud, sliders love the warmth of the sun, and can lazily lay there for hours, before returning to the water for a swim. Sliders are also omnivorous, although they tend to eat less meat as they grow older
My human and I don’t know exactly when my hatchday is, so we celebrate the day I adopted my human. I still had my egg tooth when that happened, so my party day isn’t far off from my real hatchday.
P.S. If you are wondering how I am still so small after 10 years of chomping my human’s fingers, I have a metabolic growth disorder, probably genetic. I am growing, just much much slower than a normal turtle. It is another way that I am extra special!
Meet “Turdy,“ name change pending. This big beautiful slider turtle was living in a very small aquarium and was at risk of being set loose despite being a friendly animal acclimated to a captive diet. ACS agreed to take her and a friend of ours arranged to have her shipped all the way from Kentucky.
Slider turtles grow to be extremely large (at least 8-10″ shell length, females often significantly more) and require at LEAST 50-100g of water (not tank) when grown; we keep ours in (full) 110g stock tanks and for our tanks housing multiples will be moving up to 300g stock tanks as they continue to grow. These animals live decades and are not something that one should buy casually; they are a significant commitment of time, money, space, and effort.
“Turdy” is slider turtle #9 at ACS currently, and that is having adopted several out over the years. Red eared and yellow bellied sliders are surrendered more than any other species of reptile to our rescue, and sadly some are too far gone to save by the time they get to us, especially hatchlings.