The Amazing World of turtles

First of all, let me quickly describe the turtles. They are fascinating animals because of their primitive appearance and their ease of adaptation to different natural environments such as the desert or the Russian steppes. Currently, there are nearly 330 species and many subspecies spread over 4 continents. Turtles have therefore evolved over millennia and can be land, water or marine. Their size and weight are also very different, such as the  Letherback Turtle With an average weight of 500 kg (like the cow!), while other species do not exceed 800grams like Kleinmann's tortoise

1) What the word turtle means ?

What the word "Turtle" Mean ? Generic name for a reptile that lives in water, land or both, usually oval in shape and has a bony, scaly shell from which comes out a head with a horny beak, two pairs of short legs or fins and a tail.

2) What is the symbol of Turtle ?

According to the dictionary of symbols of Alain Gheerbrant, anthropologist and poet, the turtle is a symbol of perseverance and wisdom, it is the symbol of Mother Earth itself. The meaning of the Turtle symbol signifies good health and long life. According to Native American myths the turtle played a part in their creation. The shell is the symbol of protection from human injury. The turtle is the representation of the universe, carrier of the world and humanity, it is a guarantee of stability for all. When we say your symbolisme is like a turtle it means :

  • Ability to stay grounded, even in moments of disturbances and chaos
  • Patience,
  • Slowing down, pacing yourself
  • Emotional strength and understanding
  • Ancient wisdom
  • Determination
  • Persistence

Turtle symbolic

3) What is the morphology of a Turtle ?

Terrestrial turtles have a different morphology from the others. Terrestrial turtles have a larger, more domed shell and large legs with claws that allow them to move more easily on the ground but still slowly 😄, unlike marine turtles, which have fins and a flatter shell.

The shell of turtles provides very effective protection against predators because it is their only defence, since they move relatively slowly. It is also used to capture and retain heat and also to store the calcium used to build it and the skeleton. This shell is composed of different parts: the shell on the back and a breastplate on the belly, both of which are connected by bone bridges on the sides. The skeleton of turtles is composed of bone and cartilage and is made up of three parts; the skull, the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton.

The turtles' jaws have no teeth and instead form a very sharp beak. They do not have an outer ear but have a very developed respiratory system, a relatively long neck and a very short tail.

Their size varies according to the largest species being those of the Galapagos. Their shell growth continues throughout their lives and their shape may change with age.

Here is a Custom representation of the turtle morphologie:

Turtle Morphology

4 - Turtle Male vs Turtle Female

To determine whether a turtle is male or female, a number of factors must be considered.

  • Plastron : The plastron of males of some species is more concave than that of females, which is almost flat: this feature allows the male to better adapt to the convex shape of the female's shell during mating. In females, this flat plastron allows more space for egg development. In some females, such as Testudo graeca, there is also a joint on the breastplate that allows some mobility of the rear part, so as to facilitate the passage of eggs.
  • Supracaudal Scale :This scale of the upper shell, placed directly above the tail, often has a more curved profile in males, while in females it is relatively flat: this characteristic is particularly evident in Testudo hermanni and is probably intended to facilitate egg laying.
  • The Face :The face: In some species, males have glands that grow during the mating season. Dimensions : In most species, adult females are larger than males.
  • Tail : The adult male usually has a larger and longer tail and the cloaca is further from the base of the tail: this characteristic is probably related to mating as it facilitates penetration of the male's penis into the female's cloaca.

Here some representation :

Male-Female Difference

5) What Turtle Eats ?

The Turtle is an ideal pet for people who like silence and have an open space. If this is your case, the quiet and very patient little turtle will be your perfect pet.

Contrary to popular belief, not all turtle species have the same diet and not all turtles eat lettuce leaves. That's why, on Turtle-Store Blog, we're going to share with you this little practical guide on feeding land turtles. If you want to adopt one of these friendly reptiles, you will need to know everything you need to know to provide them with an appropriate diet. So what do Turtles eat ?

If you want to adopt a tortoise as a pet, you should know that one of the most important elements for its proper development is food because deficiency of the latter can trigger various diseases, while excess food will lead to growth disorders and obesity, among other health problems.

The diet of the tortoise varies according to the species because some are omnivorous (eat fruits, vegetables and some animal protein), while others are exclusively herbivorous. In both cases, the diet should be as varied as possible, providing all the food sources it would have available in its natural habitat.

The goal will be to ensure that the variety of foods provides your turtle with all the vitamins and minerals necessary for it to develop normally and not get used to eating only one type of food, which can easily happen in these reptiles.

Here are the proportions to be respected in a balanced diet for turtles:

  • 80% of plants and vegetables
  • 6% fruit
  • 8% herbs
  • 5% animal protein (omnivorous turtles only)

General recommendations

  •  Turtles love colourful food, so be aware that a colourful and attractive dish will make them want to eat.
  • All ingredients must be washed, peeled and cut if necessary.
  • Once you have chosen and cut your ingredients, mix everything to make a compound salad, so she won't choose what she eats and will enjoy all the nutrients in the dish. Try to vary among the ingredients so that your turtle learns to eat a little bit of everything.
  • Never put food on the ground, prepare a container specially made for her.
  • It is not necessary to add salt or extra condiments.
  • Change food 2 or 3 times a day or offer him a main course once a day made up of several small pieces of plants, vegetables, herbs, fruits etc.
  • The water will have to be changed every day and placed in the shade.

To finish this question, here is for you our forbidden list of foods to turtles, you will find a list of foods to never feed, as well as a list of foods to only feed your land turtle occasionally. 

6) How Turtles Sleep ?

Turtles sleep, but their sleep is different than the humans sleep experience. It is more like a resting state. Many turtles, appear to sleep during a daily cycle. They pick a secluded spot with a constant, acceptable temperature.

They can put their heads back into their shells a little bit, but not totally like other species. They can sleep in or out of the water with their eyes closed. They have the chance to sleep as they wish.

In some categories of turtles, however, they prefer to hibernate during the cold periods of winter.

7) Turtle Health and Disease

    • Heat stroke

 is caused by lack of cover, the animal can die from it.
The animal is very excited, it becomes agitated and seems to panic, it is obviously trying to escape because the temperature is well over 35° C.
The animal has no possibility to get in the shade, so the turtle must be placed immediately in a cool, quiet and well ventilated place in the shade.
If the case is more serious, to take it immediately to the veterinary surgeon.

    • Various deficiencies 

Malnutrition is always present in captive animals, even if the animal is in a pen and is well-fed and the plants you offer are varied. It is likely that stress will cause or aggravate these complex deficiencies. One of the first symptoms is anorexia, as the animal has difficulty feeding itself. The carapace is soft, the weight of the turtle does not change, it can even lose weight and the turtle can seem tired.
It is thus necessary to isolate the animal, to place it in a different enclosure, more pleasant, with a better vegetation with shade and shelter.
Vary its food by adding snails or even earthworms.

1 comment

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