Monday, May 3, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: 3 Things You Must Do When Setting Up a Pet Turtle's Home

If you plan to acquire a turtle as a pet you are sure to be pleased with this new addition to your household. Just remember turtles are the kind of pets you spend most of your time watching and not handling. These animals do need some special attention and you should learn the basics about pet turtle care before you bring one home. Here are 3 tips that will help you establish the perfect environment for a turtle.

1. Choose the Setting

You should make certain that you prepare the right type of home for your new turtle. This depends a lot on the species that you select as well as their size and their habits.

Turtles are fairly adaptable but they still are happiest in a setting that suits them. You can set up a glass terrarium by using any aquarium. Some turtle owners will even use a box or a goldfish bowl to house their new pet. One of the best homes for turtles is created outdoors with a wire pen.

If you choose an aquarium/terrarium for your turtle's new home it will give him room to move around and protect him from any predators. You can also watch your pet and observe his unique habits. This is a good home for all types of turtles.

A heavy box is an inexpensive choice and when the box becomes soiled you can always discard it and get a new one. However, it will not provide a great deal of protection if you have a dog or cat that wants to pay a call on the turtle. A goldfish bowl is also inexpensive, and easy to clean. However, a goldfish bowl is not a good choice for most turtles because there is not enough room for them to move around. Some people have even tried to put turtles in a fishbowl that is filled with water. Listen closely, turtles are not fish and they cannot swim 24 hours a day. You will drown your turtle if they do not have rocks or wood to climb on so they can come out of the water and rest.

An outdoor pen is an excellent home for turtles if you remember to follow a few simple rules. The pen must have wire in the bottom as well as along the sides so that the turtle can not burrow his way free and become exposed to predators and other dangers. You will have to clean this outdoor home on a regular basis to keep your turtle safe and healthy. The wire you use must be strong enough to provide protection for your turtle and the holes should be spaced closely together.

2. Basic Necessities

Turtles need fresh water daily. They should have water for both drinking and swimming. Flat bottomed containers that are weighted are good to use for a turtle. This will help prevent any accidental spills as the turtle climbs and crawls about in his home. Water should be changed every day and any container that you are using needs to be thoroughly cleaned. For proper pet turtle care you must have separate feeding and watering containers. Turtles can be given earthworms, lettuce, chopped carrots and commercial food preparations, but you need to make sure that they get enough calcium in their diet.

3. Extras

Turtles like to hide and a piece of hollow wood that they can climb into gives them a nice, private cave that they can call home. These hollow logs can be purchased at most pet stores. Clean straw is another nice touch that makes the turtle's environment more welcoming. Check at the pet store and see what they have in stock. If you want to make sure that you are giving your turtle good care you should also include proper lighting and temperature. These cold blooded animals will benefit from having consistency in their environment.

Pet Turtle Care: Turtle Breeding Do's and Don'ts

Breeding turtles, of course requires a pair of sexually mature turtles: The male turtle should be about three years old, while the female turtle should be approximately five. More importantly, make sure you are breeding only healthy turtles. You will observe that they do not eat much during mating, so you must see to it that they have already taken the proper amount of food and vitamins, such as calcium and D3. As you prepare for turtle breeding, make sure that you are ready. This is one challenging task.

Normally, turtle breeding begins in the fall. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you prepare the turtles you wish to breed by "winter cooling" them in January and February. This winter cooling process, which means keeping the turtles at a temperature between 50 to 60 °F, takes about six to eight weeks. Leave them alone during this time. After this six to eight week period, bring the temperature back up to normal. Turtle breeding is best accomplished outdoors, but if you have no choice, you can still do it inside. The key here is to provide the turtles with a nesting area, which is a box or a hole that is 12 to 16 inches deep, filled with moist soil and sand.

Check the nesting area regularly, especially on grey or rainy afternoons. This is the type of weather the turtles usually prefer to lay their eggs. The eggs should be uncovered gently and marked with a felt pen on the uppermost point of the egg before removing. Place them in an incubation container, the next step after turtle breeding.

During the incubation, the eggs must be positioned in such a way that the marks you made are facing upwards. For the incubation medium, use vermiculite mixed with water (at a ratio of 1:1 by weight). Place this in an ice cream container, covered and half-filled. This mixture of vermiculite and water should be moist (with a humidity level of approximately 90%). Make sure that the incubation medium does not become too saturated or wet, because this may cause the eggs to rot. On the other hand, without sufficient moisture, the eggs will dry up. You must carefully monitor the humidity level during this very delicate incubation period.

Place the eggs slightly buried for easy monitoring. Test the moisture content of the mixture with your fingers every third day. If you feel that it is drying out, spray two to three light mist sprays over the eggs. Control yourself! Do not be tempted to turn the eggs, and be careful when removing the cover. The 'banding up' or calcifying of the eggs will start in 24 hours, normally beginning from the center and working outwards.

Do not panic when you see 'windows' or uncalcified patches on the shells, because these may be present in viable or non-viable eggs. However, if you do notice that there are eggs with a slimy or moldy appearance, immediately take them out, because they may have mold or fungus that could easily spread to other viable eggs.

If you see eggs with cracks during the beginning stages of incubation, you can try to repair them by wiping a thin amount of silicone sealant gently over the crack. Hopefully, if done correctly, this will prevent fluid leakage, as well as stopping the egg from becoming completely desiccated prior to successful incubation.

Pet Turtle Care: Turtle Facts, Habitat, and Care

Turtles are a species of reptiles commonly kept as pets. Among the most popular types of pet turtles are Russian Tortoises, Spur Thighed Tortoises, and Red Eared Sliders. They can be fascinating to watch, and may even seem harmless. However, turtles can and do bite, and they can carry salmonella; thus, they may not be safe to keep as house pets, particularly for those families with young children. However, with proper care and knowledge, you should be able to become a turtle owner and safely enjoy your pet. So before you decide to purchase a pet turtle, you should first educate yourself about its habitat and care.

Turtles and tortoises can be found anywhere (except in Antarctica)-in rivers, forests, lakes, oceans, grasslands, and deserts. They belong to the taxonomical order Testudines, in the sub-group Chelonia, and are referred to as chelonians. Chelonians are distinctive due to their round, hard shells, four legs, and tails. Moreover, they have scales, they lay eggs, and they are ectothermic, which means that their body temperature is dependent upon their external environment.

The largest chelonian today is the Great Leatherback Sea Turtle, and the smallest is the Speckled Padloper Tortoise of South Africa. The largest turtle ever was the Archelon Ischyros, which measured more than 13.5 feet long and 16 feet wide from flipper to flipper. Turtles are known for drawing their necks in whenever they sense danger. Their colors vary from species to species. What is common, though, is the presence of a streamlined shell to enable them to swim with ease. They have no teeth. Instead, they use their beaks to break up food. People handling pet turtles should not get too close to their beaks because they are often as sharp as knives.

If you think turtles and tortoises have no skin on top of their structures you are wrong. The external coating of the shell is actually a skin. They may be reptiles, but turtles, as well as tortoises and terrapins, do not molt their skins in one large piece. They molt piece by piece. All turtles have limbs, but they differ in one thing: Amphibious turtles have webbed feet, while sea turtles have flippers. Turtles are likely to take many years before they reach their breeding age. Female turtles produce soft-shelled and flexible eggs. Their albumen is white and has a different protein than bird eggs. For some turtle species, temperature dictates whether the egg will develop into a male or a female. Higher temperatures result in decreased incubation time and more female hatchlings. Large numbers of eggs are placed in holes dug into the mud or sand, then left covered and untended to incubate. When the newborns hatch, they must struggle on their own to get back into the water in order to survive.

Ownership of turtles requires commitment. It is a responsibility that must be taken seriously or it will cause the death of an unfortunate turtle. Turtles require proper housing, temperature, nutrition, and environment, among other things. Pet owners must, for their own safety, be knowledgeable on how to properly care for and handle turtles and tortoises in order to prevent themselves from catching diseases that might make them very sick or even cause death. As mentioned earlier, turtles can carry salmonella, bacteria that can be transmitted through casual contact. This can cause the human disease salmonellosis, a serious infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

Pet Turtle Care: How to Look After a Pet Turtle

If your considering getting a pet turtle or maybe you've already got one and realized they are a lot more work than you thought they would be! There are many varieties of turtles, but they can be broken down into those that prefer completely wet habitats and those that require dry habitats. Whichever kind of pet turtle you choose, you need to know how to care for your specific turtle so it can have a good quality of life.

Depending on if you have an aquatic turtle or a more land loving creature, your going to need to create different habitats and different pet turtle care steps need to be taken. Aquatic turtles obviously spend alot of time underwater and vice versa, so make sure your turtle habitat meets these requirements by having the right balance of land to water.

The Best Type Of Turtle For Your Home: Semi-aquatic turtles make excellent pets to have in your home. They need both an area to swim around in and a basking ground with plenty of sunshine (or a UV lamp) in the enclosures. The temperature of the environment needs to be carefully regulated. The water should be kept cooler than the rest of the habitat and will need to be cleaned regularly.

Life Expectancy: A lot of people forget that turtles have quite a long life expectancy, some breeds live for many decades while some can even go up to a hundred years! So make sure you get along, your friend will be around a while!

Turtle Diseases and Health: They are prone to various diseases so make sure to carefully note any changes in their behavior. Give special attention to the condition of their shell, as this is usually an indicator if something is wrong with your turtle. They need plenty of fresh vegetables to eat and a shallow bowl of fresh drinking water available to them at all times.

What They Love To Eat: Turtles are hungry little guys and they're very messy eaters! They will eat worms, small chunks of meat, and small leaves. For bigger turtles, fish, raw vegetables, frogs, bugs, consist of their main diet.

If you're having trouble getting them to eat, feed them something different or something smaller. A variety of fresh vegetables is also needed and makes up the bigger part of their diet. They may have eating problems because they're not digesting properly. Having a light for heat is essential because turtles require heat and sunlight to properly digest food and help develop their shells.

A good feeding tip is to make sure you feed them in a separate plate from their habitat, else the habitat will get very messy.

Pet Turtle Care: The Largest Turtle in the World - Is it Too Late to Save the Leatherback?

Classified as critically endangered, the world's largest turtle is the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The largest leatherback had a recorded weight of over 1 ton! The Leatherback Turtle is so named because it has no distinctive bony plates on its upper shell; rather, its carapace is flexible, and covered with a thin layer of leathery skin. Dark in color with white and pink spots, a leatherback turtle can be easily recognized because of its seven fine ridges lining the length of the carapace and, of course, because of its large front flippers.

Leatherbacks are found in the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. In the United States they are seen in southeastern Florida; in the Caribbean, they are found on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, and St. Croix. They can submerge up to 4,922 feet in order to search for soft-bodied prey such as jellyfish. World-wide harvesting of the leatherback's eggs has led to a massive decline in their population. As we have so sadly learned, our ecosystem is co-dependent and very delicately balanced. The over-harvesting of eggs has led to an increase in the jellyfish population, which can then harm power plants, clog boat motors, and can seriously injure, or in some cases kill swimmers in the shallow ocean waters.

Once the male hatchling enters the water, it never leaves. Only the female leatherbacks leave the water and crawl onto land to nest. As with other aquatic turtles, mating takes place at sea. To gain the female's acceptance, the male leatherback makes head, flipper, and biting movements. Interestingly, female leatherbacks can mate every two to three years, and leatherbacks can breed and nest every year. The nesting seasons of this largest turtle depend on its location. Leatherbacks native to Parismina, Costa Rica nest from February to July, while turtles native to French Guiana nest from March to August. While other female turtles always return to the same beach from which they hatched to lay their eggs, female leatherback turtles can switch to another beach in the same general region.

Female leatherback turtles create a nest above the high tide line by digging into the sand with their flippers. One female leatherback turtle has the capacity to lay as many as nine clutches in one breeding season. One clutch contains approximately 110 eggs, of which 85% are viable. The eggs take an estimated 60 to 70 days to hatch. After hatching, the newborns must avoid land and air predators by themselves, and crawl back into the water to survive. Of those fortunate enough to make it back into the water, most will die, either from drowning or from other predators in the air and water.

Leatherback sea turtles have been in existence for 150 million years. Sadly however, their fate is now similar to that of many other turtles and tortoises - they are in critical danger of extinction. From 91,000 known nesting female leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean, the number is down to an alarming low of 5,000.

It is urgent that we realize the need to take care of these wonderful creatures. If leatherback turtles disappear, it will surely have a terrible effect on our fragile ecosystem. Should we not be able to stave off the extinction of this turtle, scientists predict the subsequent domino effect - the extinction of a host of other marine species. For this reason, there are federal and state laws that cover the life of the world's largest turtle. These laws must be strictly followed and enforced to make sure of the continued existence of the leatherback. It is not enough that the great leatherback be seen only in pictures. We must assure that this magnificent creature can be seen in the wild by future generations.

Pet Turtle Care: Food to Offer a Baby Turtle

Turtles are one of the cutest pets that you can have that you can't cuddle with. They are small and when they are babies they are so cute and of course slow! Learning how to take care of a new baby turtle is not common knowledge because they are not popular pets. It's easy to know what to do with dogs and cats because almost everyone has one or the other and they pass the information down to other people.

When taking care of new turtles the first thing you will need to know is how and what to feed them to keep them healthy. There is a variety of turtle foods that are available in different sizes and shapes and can be made with different ingredients. You can buy flakes and small pellet foods that are sold specifically for baby turtles.

The most common food for turtles that you can purchase are turtle sticks. These are great for any type of turtles including the babies. Water turtles will most likely need to eat the much larger floating pellets - but again they can be given to most other turtles.

One thing that we urge you never use are dried whole shrimp and bugs. The way that these are sold is very questionable and may not be safe for any turtles and especially the babies. There are shrimp pellets that can be used as treats - but not as a main source of food.

In order for your baby turtle to get all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins to stay healthy you can continue to feed them the sticks, flakes, and pellets. They have been made to contain all of these important and healthy nutrients to keep your baby turtle strong and well cared for. You can feed them cooked eggs and poultry as well as the shells.

If you need a slight substitute in the diet than you should consider fish foods. Many fish food have the same types of ingredients as turtle food. Don't even waste your time trying to feed your baby turtle fruits and veggies. They won't eat them. Other foods to stay away from are raw seafood and other raw meats. These contain too much fat and could make them sick with salmonella.

If you have any questions or concerns about what else to feed your baby turtle and where to buy the right turtle food than ask your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to give you all the instructions you need and can answer any questions that you have.

Pet Turtle Care: Basic Baby Turtle Care

Baby turtle care is quite different from adult turtle care. Babies of any species require a little more attention, and baby turtles are no different.

Wild Baby Turtles

Quite often baby turtles get waylaid or go off course and end up in our backyards, on the street or in other dangerous locations. When we see this, we naturally want to help the baby turtle. When we take a baby turtle out of its environment, however, we become responsible for its care, which can be a demanding project. If you do your research and become educated regarding what a baby turtle will need to thrive, it is your choice whether you want to raise the lost little turtle or not.

The same is true when your adult turtles lay eggs. While it is against the law to sell baby turtles that are less than 4 inches in length, you are well within your rights to raise your own baby turtles.

Caring For A Baby Turtle

Small turtles need space to move around in, but because of their size they can squeeze into areas that can end up being dangerous for them. To guard against this, if you have an outside pen, make sure your turtle pen does not have any areas where a baby turtle can get caught or get out. If you are using a tank, make sure the water filter system is attached on the outside of the tank, maintain a dish of fresh water for drinking, set up an area where the turtle can swim and soak and make sure there is adequate heat.

Baby turtles are smaller and will require special attention when climbing up out of the water or onto a basking platform. Check the turtles' habitat often to make sure nothing is amiss.

You'll also need to feed your baby turtle plenty of protein, along with green plant foods. Feed hatchlings farm-raised worms only, never worms that you found in the wild. If your baby turtle gets parasites from the worms, it may not have enough strength to fight off the parasites, and little can be done to help sick baby turtles. Choose soft-bodied worms such as waxworms and mealworms.

If the turtle pen is located outside, don't leave food dishes or food lying around for several hours, as the rotting food will attract insects. Some insects, such as ants, have the ability to kill a baby turtle.

Turtles And Salmonella

Approximately 90 percent of all reptiles carry the salmonella bacteria. Even if a turtle doesn't appear sick, it can still carry the bacteria in its feces. Follow these tips to avoid salmonella contamination from turtles in your home:

  • Do not allow baby turtles or any reptile in the home where a child under the age of 5 resides, or anyone who has a compromised immune system
  • Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling your turtle or any item from the turtle's pen or tank.
  • Never bring a turtle into the kitchen area or any area where food is being prepared.
  • Pet stores and veterinarians should provide information to anyone who purchases a reptile, especially a small turtle, or who brings a reptile in for medical evaluation.
  • If you are expecting a baby, it is advisable to remove all reptiles, especially baby turtles, from your home immediately.

Holding A Baby Turtle

Because a baby turtle's shell is soft, it is possible to harm or kill a baby turtle by holding it incorrectly. If possible, do not pick up a baby turtle at all, and, if you do, make sure you wash your hands with soap and hot water afterwards. If you do pick up your turtle, do so in this manner: hold the turtle like you would hold a hamburger with two hands, or at least with your fingers beneath the turtle's shell and your thumb on the top of the shell not the way you would pick up a hotdog, with just one hand wrapped around it or with fingers on one side of his shell and your thumb on the other. And never squeeze.

Unfortunately, the incorrect way to pick up a turtle is also the easiest way, especially when you have your hands filled with turtle supplies and or turtle food. Alas, the incorrect way can harm the turtle's soft and still forming shell.

Baby Turtle Sales

It is against the law in many areas to sell baby turtles. In the United States, local law enforcement offices and health officials are working with the Food and Drug Administration to help persuade turtle distributors with action that includes, at times, fines of up to $100 for each baby turtle in their possession.

The reason for such vigilance is two-fold. First are the concerns regarding turtles and salmonella. The second reason has to do with the safety of the turtles themselves. Baby turtles are generally purchased illegally through the black market or obtained illegally as an advertising gimmick. Unfortunately, the welfare of the turtles is never taken into consideration, and many die due to mishandling. Even more die when the customer gets tired of taking care of them, passes them on to someone else who also doesn't have a clue how to take care of a turtle or lets them go in the wild. If you or someone you know is aware of illegal sales of baby turtles, turn the responsible party in to local authorities, the Humane Society and the FDA.

Pet Turtle Care: Tips For Raising Healthy Baby Turtles

The turtle hatchling is very cute and appealing to people, as are many baby animals. Nevertheless, it is illegal to purchase a hatchling turtle throughout the United States of America. (See U.S. Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Subpart D, Sec. 1240.62--Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements). There are a few exceptions to this law however, for bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibitional purposes. The primary reason for this is because the hatchling turtle is deemed to be a greater risk for Salmonella compared to adult turtles. Turtle hatchlings are most likely to be handled by children who do not necessarily practice good personal hygiene; therefore the turtles' care must be properly and strictly observed.

To begin, you must be committed to caring for your turtle for a long time, as their lifespan is close to that of humans. If you take excellent care of them, they may even outlive you! Interested turtle keepers must first find out the species of turtle they want to keep. Not only must you provide suitable housing and the right kind of food to your pet; you must also know which species of turtle best suits your lifestyle and living conditions. There are some classes of turtle that grow extremely large, and cannot be kept as domesticated animals. Fortunately, there are a good number of turtle species that have docile personalities and grow to a manageable size as adults, making them suitable for captivity. Once you have purchased the turtle most suitable to your needs, you can move on to providing a good habitat for your pet.

Be sure to provide the turtles with a place to bask, swim, and hide, as these are the primary daily activities of your new pet. Not only do turtles enjoy these activities, they are essential to the turtles' overall good health. Turtle hatchlings can be best kept in plastic tubs or aquariums so you can monitor them more closely. Hatchling care requires constant temperature regulation. It is advisable to use a heater to maintain a controlled and sustained warm temperature within the area. If there are no heat or temperature-regulating devices available, place your pet's housing in a location where they can receive abundant natural lighting.

Feeding baby turtles may be the most challenging part of your hatchlings' care. At first, they may not even eat at all, no matter what type of food you offer them! This is just their normal behavior at this stage, so you need not worry too much. Although turtles are omnivorous, the young ones are most likely to behave as largely carnivorous animals. Hatchlings are very picky in the food that they approve of eating. Start off by feeding them small, live insects and worms. As they mature, you may find that their range of food preference also broadens. They then can be fed fruits and vegetables, or even the processed food intended for the mature turtle's diet.

If you are keeping more than one turtle, pay extra attention to your pets, in order to be certain that each one of them maintains optimum health.

If there are children in your household, teach them that observing good personal hygiene is a vital part of their pet hatchlings' care. Turtles have proven to be one of the best animals to keep, and once you get into the rhythm of excellent, responsible care for your hatchlings, you'll be a happy and satisfied turtle owner for years!

Pet Turtle Care: What Do Baby Turtles Eat? - Turtle Feeding Strategies Made Simple

Turtles require a specific diet to ensure proper health and avoid early fatality. This is an all too common occurrence with pet turtles due to a lack of knowledge about turtle care. What do baby turtles eat? The short answer is protein.

Stock piling plenty of protein is the best way to build strong muscles and immune system. However with all turtles calcium is a must for strong bones and a durable shell. Feeding baby turtles does not have to be difficult, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Juvenile turtles, as pets or in the wild, are mostly carnivorous until they reach maturity. Once they become an adult most of their diet consists of leafy greens, fruits, vegetables and some protein as well. For all turtles young and old calcium is necessary for a nice strong shell and bones.

Fish Food

In captivity young turtles have been known to do well with fish foods. Fish foods are loaded with protein, nutrients and vegetation for an all in one diet. Pet stores sell baby turtle foods and things of this nature, but you can get the same results for much less money with a pond fish or goldfish food.

These specialized products cost quite a bit more and you will not get any better results. Another problem is that they contain more preservatives, which are not good for your baby turtle. They may not necessarily kill the turtle, but too many preservatives are not good for anyone.

Live Proteins

Live proteins are excellent for turtles of any age. Small worms, crickets and other insects will provide a tasty treat that is packed with protein. The fish food is to make sure your turtle gets some protein everyday. If there is a cricket that your turtle is unable to catch right away, you will know that protein has still been provided.

While browsing around your local pet store you may find freeze dried bugs. If you ask someone working there if these are good to feed your turtle they will probably say yes. Do not believe this! Freeze dried bugs lack nutrients and are there for useless. This is the same theory of why everyone will tell you not to feed your turtle iceberg lettuce, because there are very little nutrients. Make sure everything you feed your baby turtle serves a beneficial purpose to its diet and growth.

Turtle pellet and stick foods work as well. The fish food could form an every other feeding regimen, and on the off feeding you could throw in some pellets or a stick. Again lots of protein here. You can find these at your local pet store.

What do baby turtles eat in the wild to stay healthy? Being carnivorous by nature they eat bugs to get that protein boost they need. As your pet you can certainly feed them small worms and bugs, but do not make this the staple of the turtles diet. The fish foods and pellets have other nutrients with the protein to provide a more well balanced diet. With growing, shell production and day to day energy use your baby turtle needs to be eating all the good things it can.

One thing to point out is that if you have an aquatic turtle all food must be given in water. Turtles can not produce saliva, so eating in water aids in their oral digestion. Adults could eat out of water, though they prefer not to, but adolescent turtles need to eat in water. They have a hard time swallowing dry foods and could choke on them.

The quick answer to what to baby turtles eat is a lot of protein, with other essential nutrients thrown in for a balanced diet. Some people prefer buying specialized products for their pet, and that is certainly their right. However, you can save yourself some money and maybe some illnesses or cracked shells by sticking with a good fish food and pellet diet. Throw in some small bugs for a treat and you will have a healthy, happy baby turtle.

Pet Turtle Care: Feeding Your Pet Turtle

For having pets there are no limitations of age groups. Everyone enjoys their own type of pets. People love to keep cats, dogs, fishes or even turtles as pet animals. Turtles are great pets and many people prefer keeping them.

Feeding your pet turtle is mainly an essential aspect in regards to their health and you will really enjoy feeding activity with your turtle. However before enjoying the feeding activity, you have to learn about turtle diet that is full of nutrition. If you do not feed your turtle, it will keep on hungry. Contrasting with warm blooded pets, turtles are not dependant on their metabolism mechanism.

Usually turtles do not eat easily or readily according to your settled plan. The most important thing is to search out what is mandatory to feed your turtle. Otherwise you will lose your pet turtle. Turtles are timid in nature which is the biggest hindrance in feeding them.

Firstly you have to create a place where you always feed your pet turtle. Throughout the summer, try to feed your pet turtle in the shaded place. One major reason that your turtle may not feed properly is the climate. Turtles do not eat when the weather is too hot.

Turtles Most Favorite Food

Normally turtles love to eat snails, grubs, fallen fruit, flowers, beetles, mushrooms, caterpillars, carrion, grasses, earthworms and berries. Turtles only taste the food which smells safe to eat.

You need to plan your turtles diet according to what it wants to eat; don't take your comfort as it will hinder in the feeding process. Turtle only eats what it likes and feels good to eat. You have to feed all the food stuff in moderation, for keeping your turtle's health.

Keep an eye on your turtle while feeding it and observe what it really likes to eat. If you get succeeded in finding what it really loves to eat then you will be successful for maintaining its health.

For example if your pet turtle likes snails then make a plate of chopped snails and mix it with the berries or some grasses. Otherwise you can also make a plate of snails with flowers and beetles. Try to add up more variety in the food of your turtle. This will give variations in the taste.

You can also feed your pet turtle weekly with a fish. And for giving it an entertainment, you can just leave them with a fish in aquarium and let it eat the fish. This can also be a way of making turtle exercise, because turtles love to hunt.

Balanced Diet is must to feed your pet turtle

You can easily find balanced food items for your pet turtle from normal grocery markets. Usually any type of food stuff can feed well if give in the moderate form. But you need to add up all the essential nutritious items. At one time you can feed it with vegetables, fruits and proteins, while in the next feed you can give it leafy vegetables and mushrooms. This variety in food items gives you pet turtle all the necessary vitamins and minerals for sustaining the better health.

Feed Separately

Feeding your turtle where they live in the box or in the aquarium is not the right way. Always feed them outside their resting place, as it avoids making place messy.

No doubt turtles are interesting pets that give you lots of fun in your daily life. Therefore, you really need to be cautious about the factors that affect your pet turtle's health - most importantly feeding them with nutritional diet.

Pet Turtle Care: Is the Critically Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle The Most Amazing Animal on Earth?

The magnificent leatherback turtle has my vote as the most amazing animal on earth.

Like the other remaining species of marine turtle, it left its four-footed land predecessors more than one hundred ten million years ago, developed flippers, and populated the Seven Seas---before there were Seven Seas. Literally before the Seven Seas.

Mother Earth was a very different place way back then.

Although humans look around at the world and think that the rivers, canyons, and mountains we see today have always been there, nothing could be farther from the truth. For example, today's mighty Himalayas, with their tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, were not very mighty at all when turtles first entered the oceans. The reason? They did not even exist that long ago. Indeed, it would be another 65,000,000 years before the force of the collision between the subcontinent of India and Asia pushed them to the heavens.

Not only were there not Seven Seas yet, there were only two supercontinents. The southern supercontinent is called "Gondwana" which contained today's Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, Arabia, and India, and more.

Antarctica was connected to Australia when the first leatherbacks took to the sea and would not uncouple from it for about thirty million more generations of these sea animals.

South America remained close to West Antarctica, which was temperate in climate. Another 80,000,000 years would go by before Antarctica would have migrated far to the south and turn into the frigid continent we see.

This ancient time spawned these ancient sea turtles.

When the ancestors of today's leatherbacks evolved into sea dwellers, there were no birds in the sky, no elephants, mastodons, mammoths, and not even a tiny mouse because there were no birds or mammals at all on the globe.

For that matter, there were no dinosaurs, either. The mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex would not walk the planet for about four hundred thousand centuries more. Yes, you read it correctly: 400,000 centuries.

Maybe you know that dolphins and whales originated from land animals and went to sea long ago. That is really impressive! Except to a sea turtle. Why? Because leatherbacks were swimming the world's oceans for more than fifty million years before those mighty leviathons---which are closely related to hippopotamus---evolved, left the land, and entered the oceans, too.

Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles and can weigh nearly a ton, like the one caught off Wales that tipped the scales at 1,980 pounds. These magnificent creatures saw the first and last dinosaur, and lived through the world's extinction, and flourished as the planet went from two supercontinents to the seven of today.But, that spectacular ability to adapt is not why they are so amazing.

Consider this: the world marveled, and deservedly so, at Michael Phelps' unbelievable speed when he set a world record in the 200 meter freestyle swim event in Beijing. But, in the time it took him to go that distance, a huge leatherback, weighing about as much as the entire offensive line of a professional football team, would pass the 1,000 meter mark---more than a third of a mile farther than Michael.

In fact, this sea turtle is listed in the 1992 Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest reptile on earth!

It would be a fairer race if the world's fastest man competed against a swimming turtle. The turtle and man would be almost even at the hundred meter mark, and the human might nose out a victory. But, the swimming leatherback would blow away every human runner at 400 meters and farther.

Not only can this ancient being swim five times faster than the fastest human the world has produced, it may also be the world's greatest long-distance swimmer. One of these giants was tracked by scientists migrating 13,000 miles---and that was only to the destination from which it needed to return.

Besides being the world's fastest reptile and maybe the world's greatest long-distance migrator, it is the deepest diving marine turtle on the planet, regularly diving some 4,000 feet underwater. To put that depth into perspective, America's extraordinary nuclear submarines are allowed to operate at a maximum normal operating depth of about 1,600 feet because they'd crush under the sea pressure at 2,400 feet. Man's best technology and strongest metal and composite materials are no match for the diving ability of this ancient reptile.

Leatherbacks are found not only in all tropical and subtropical waters on earth but have been seen as far north as the Arctic Circle, in Alaska, near Quebec, and Norway, and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope and even below New Zealand, in waters as cold as 40°F. Yet, although they are cold blooded reptiles, they remain nice and cozy because they can maintain a body temperature as much as 32°F (18°C) higher than the surrounding water. They do this by having a metabolic rate four times faster than any other sea turtle; a unique internal system that actually generates heat through a very sophisticated mechanism; and their bulk and fat.

Man invented the wet suit in the late twentieth century . These "primitive" animals have had their own a bit longer.

Disgracefully, in the last 30 years, man's rapacious greed and carelessness have decimated the numbers of this magnificent creature. Between 1980 and 2005, the number of leatherback sea turtles in Mexico declined 99% , a catastrophic decline since that country had about two thirds of the world's total leatherbacks.

Mexico should not be singled out because, all across the globe, leatherback populations were collapsing. For example, just a few years ago 10,000 leatherbacks nested in Malaysia each year. In 2008, there were two.

Today, more than a hundred countries, hundreds of conservation organizations, and tens of thousands of volunteers are determined to stem the decline of this magnificent creature but it remains very vulnerable.

Despite laws passed to conserve these creatures their nests are routinely plundered for eggs. Untold numbers die from ingesting plastic bags which look like jellyfish, their primary food. More drown in commercial fishing and shrimp nets which we euphemistically call "incidental catch." We destroy their habitat, build our homes on their beaches and wonder why the sea turtles are going extinct.

Little Costa Rica has taken an active role in sea turtle preservation, setting aside the world's biggest green sea turtle nesting refuge at Tortuguero National Park and preserving Ostional Refuge for the earth's largest arribadas---or olive sea turtle nestings--where up to half a million turtles sometimes come ashore to nest. Increasingly important is Costa Rica ecotourism, with its economic impact.

Pet Turtle Care: Turtle Mating - Why Does the Male Turtle Flutter Its Claws?

Turtle mating-have you ever wondered how these slow-moving and serene animals procreate?

Thanks to the substantial information that is now available regarding turtles and their anatomy, physiology, quirks and oddities, we now know quite a lot about how they mate.

The languid turtles have limbs that are comparable to those of tortoises, but the turtles' feet have elongated claws. Their long claws serve them in mounting logs in order to bask in the sun, an activity that they seem to enjoy, and which is essential to their thermoregulation. Their long claws also come in handy when they move or clamber from one place to another on land. Did you know, however, that these long claws also serve a purpose in mating?

Before the actual mating happens, male turtles will usually fight over a female. This "courtship stage" among the competing males can last up to forty-five minutes. The bigger male would normally be aggressive, and display its dominance towards the other turtles by fighting and clawing at their faces. There are also some classes of turtles, such as the Red-Eared Slider, which mate underwater. When the dominant turtle finally establishes its superiority among the other male turtles, it will then scuttle over or swim towards the female to mount her and begin mating--that is, if the female is receptive to him! If not, she may become aggressive towards him. Turtle mating ranges from ten minutes to several hours.

If the female accepts the advance of the dominant male, the male will use his long claws in a seemingly odd manner. Just prior to mounting the female, the male turtle will begin to flutter his claws in a vibrating motion on the female's face. Sometimes the turtle will also do the same waving gesture on the female's head. Generally, it is the back side of its claws that the male turtle uses during this behavior. A turtle owner, who had personally witnessed this behavior, added that after the male had asserted his dominance over the other males, his biggest male turtle began stroking the female's nose using its claws. Within minutes, the female turtle had allowed the male turtle to mount her for mating.

Some experts claim that male turtles do this in order to stimulate the female for mating, while others state that this behavior is the male's natural manifestation of excitement.

Pet Turtle Care: Exceptional Characteristics of Various Turtles

If you have a pet turtle or you are an avid turtle enthusiast, then you do not only know the basic things and information about this shelled animal but also its exceptional characteristics. Turtles, specifically the marine species, inhabit saline, brackish and fresh waters. Sea turtles have firm beak-like mouths that they need to tear foods. They have bigger shells, strong flippers and lungs to breathe while in the ocean.

Here are some varieties of pet turtle species. The loggerhead turtles are vertebral. They usually grow up to 95 centimeters at 55 kilograms weight. The loggerheads carry three intra-marginal scute pairs. They have fore-flippers in, a pair of claws, sturdy jaws and a bigger head. They are carnivorous turtles and the males have longer and thicker tails with thinner shells.

Another pet turtle species is known as the green marine turtle. This species is called as such due to the green-colored fat in their bodies. These creatures are generally omnivorous. Green turtles can develop up to 120 centimeters. They can also weigh up to 150 kilograms in weight. Green sea turtles have black colored hatchlings. When they turn older, they usually become brown. Their foreheads have a pair of scales. They also have claws on their fore-flipper as well as jagged claws.

Of the pet turtle species, the black sea turtle are species that carry a claw on each flipper. They have black markings which is why these are called with such name. They have jagged jaws. Black turtles can reach the length of 117 centimeters. They can weigh up to 126 kilograms and are primarily omnivores.

The leatherback turtle is not one of the regular pet turtle species. Leatherbacks are the largest of the sea turtle species. They have black or blue bodies with pink or white patches. They grow up to 210 centimeters long and weigh as heavy as 900 kilograms. These species have leathery and smooth skin. Similar to loggerheads, they are also carnivorous turtles. Leatherbacks have claws and serrated jaws. The can tolerate different temperatures in the ocean.

Olive ridley turtles are another pet turtle species which have gray-brown hatchlings. The olive green color is obtained when they grow older. If the leatherbacks are the biggest, the olive ridleys are the tiniest of sea turtles, growing to merely grow at 70 centimeters with a 50 kilogram weight. Also, they have up to 9 lateral scutes and nearly round shells.