Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turtle POWER!

Happy to announce that we now have 2 new additions to our family. 2 little baby hatchling  Red eared Slider turtles. They are super awesome! I think they are going to be named Shredder and Splinter (not your typical ninja turtles) until we can establish who is male and who is female! :)
We went to the zoo on Sunday and were somehow persuaded by a couple street hustlers- I mean sellers- LOL, into buying two of these little cuties. They will eventually grow to be larger then Frisbees as time goes by. Unfortunately it is hard for most hatchlings to survive. I have to prepare myself for the inevitability that one or both of them may not survive.

There is much discussion about the dangers of handling them, and how they make bad pets because of the salmonella scare . I only plan to handle these guys when necessary to clean and care for them, and I definitely sanitize after touching them. Most reptiles are for looking only anyhow, and many species don't like human handling at all.  That doesn't make them bad pets to own. They are such gorgeous creatures and very unique.  

Here are some fun and interesting facts about turtles. :)

  • The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago during the Triassic age, thus making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups.  They are more ancient than lizards, snakes and crocodiles.
  • There are approximately 300 different species of turtles.
  • Turtles have great eyesight, seeing in full color and a strong sense of smell.  They have excellent hearing and sense of touch.  Their shells also have feeling due to nerve endings.
  • Some turtles can live up to a year without food!
  • Some species, including the American Box turtle, can live to be over 100 years old.
  • Sea turtles excrete salt absorbed in sea water from their eyes, which is why they seem to cry.
  • A female turtle laying eggs will dig several empty nests to throw off predators trying to eat the eggs.
  • Once a male sea turtle hatches and enters the ocean, it will probably not step on land again.
  • Only one out of one thousand sea turtles survive after hatching. 
  • When in danger the green turtle can swim almost 20 miles an hour to escape.
  • Age 80 is middle-aged for Galapagos tortoises
  • A female turtle laying eggs will dig several empty nests to throw off predators trying to eat the eggs.

Red Ear Slider Care

R.E.S are the common choice for pet turtles and they are fairly easy and inexpensive to take care for. The key to any healthy turtle is a VARIETY in diet. You must not overfeed them as this can cause health issues, even when they beg you for food. They have a special diet and quite a few diet restrictions. Commercially produced turtle pellets is recommended as the staple. But they will need to munch on fresh foods as well.   Foods such as romaine lettuce, cantaloupe, banana, kale, mango, and strawberries are great as treats. They also eat insect, crickets, earthworms, red worms, and small feeder fish. Never feed them Goldfish they are highly poisonous for turtles. If you do a quick Google there are tons of other foods you can provide for them as well.
The second key to healthy turtles is clean and comfortable habitat. This species loves to swim, bask, and explore their enclosures.  Many even enjoy items such as ping pong balls floating on the water surface as a toy. Now how adorable is that :) They will need fresh water, room to swim, a place to hide, and a place to bask. They need a  basking light and it should be over a flat stone such as slate or log. A cheap clip on desk-light from Walmart with a 60w normal light-bulb will suffice. Direct it towards the basking platform.
 Water temperature should be maintained between 72 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a  large Tupperware container because a glass aquarium is not REQUIRED . These are found really cheap at Walmart. Judging by their size is the way to find the best container to get for them. Since I have hatchlings I have them housed together in a smaller container, but as they grow they will be separated and their enclosures will get much bigger!
It is beneficial to be able to let your RES get some out-of-water exercise. If taken outside, they can receive some natural UV rays as well. Well, looks like I will be that crazy lady walking her turtles on a leash!? LOL


  1. where did you get that harness and leash?

  2. where did you get that harness and leash?

  3. hwhere did you get the harness and leas

  4. hwhere did you get the harness and leas