Today I want to introduce you to a very special turtle named Audrey. She’s a red-eared slider, and I’m sure you’ve noticed her not-quite-typical shell. Sweet Audrey spent the first 20 years of her life living in a bucket. When her owner died, she was brought to the vet to be put to sleep. The vet decided to get Audrey help instead; today she lives at LittleResQ, one of my favorite turtle rescues, and is their spokes-turtle against animal cruelty.
It’s very important to research proper husbandry before acquiring a new turtle friend. Turtles are ectotherms; they require heated tanks and aquariums. They need proper diets with lots of calcium, and UVA and UVB lighting to provide them with the D3 necessary to metabolize that calcium. If they don’t, they can end up with shell deformities like Audrey’s, which are, unfortunately, all too common.
I hope that my followers will take careful note of Audrey’s situation. I hope that she will save lives by telling her story.
Audrey, I’m glad that you’ve found a caring home at LittleResQ; I’m glad that you’ll be speaking up on behalf of all turtles.
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.
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!