Tortoises and aquatic turtles – two very different animals

turtles. I know I did, for sure. Well, although people confuse them a lot, in reality, they are different both in looks and in other typical characteristics.

Even though they both belong to the order of Testudines, they come from different classification families. One major difference is the fact that tortoises spend their time on land, while turtles enjoy the water and live nearby all of the time. However, they both lay their eggs on the ground.

The process is quite similar to both types and consists of the mother digging a burrow and laying up to twelve eggs inside. From there on, the future hatchlings stay in the egg for 90 to 120 120. When the incubation process has reached its end, the babies dig their way up to the surface. Here comes the difference: tortoise mothers protect their hatchlings for a period of 80 days but the turtles leave the babies to survive on their own from birth.

Another aspect is related to the physical features. If you thought they look like two beans in a pod, you thought wrong. The tortoise has the shell in a shape of a dome and the feet are short and sturdy. Moreover, its legs are a tad bent and not straight under the body. On the other hand, turtles have flat shells and their feet have long claws that ensure a strong grip and helps them climb the riverbanks easier and faster.  

This major difference has to do with the fact that turtles generally live in water and they need a streamlined shell to swim and dive. Tortoises are prone to be attacked by predators so the dome-shaped shell keeps them safe. Compared to a turtle’s shell, tortoises have a heavier shell so they couldn’t possibly get near the water for a swimming session.

I should explain the way these creatures feed themselves. The majority of tortoises are herbivores meaning that they like to eat a variety of vegetables, grasses, fruits, and all sorts of flowers. It’s a known fact that some species of tortoise get to eat up to 200 different types of plants during one year time.

Now here comes the big news. Turtles are actually omnivores because they eat both veggies and animals such as jellyfish, small fish or earthworms.  

In terms of lifespan, sea turtles can live up to 70 years, 50 of those being required for them to reach maturity. Common turtles don’t go beyond 40 years old.

Tortoises are the lucky ones because they can reach easily 80 years old. There have been cases of them that lived for more than 150 years. According to experts, it’s even possible for tortoises to get past the 100 years of age limit in captivity if you carefully control and nurture their environment.

How to take care of baby water turtles

 

You might want to get a new pet and your mind is set on baby water turtles. Or you might already own them and since you’re new to this thing, you need advice. Whatever the case is, you need to learn that baby turtles should be kept only in shallow water, no deeper than the level they can reach the surface without difficulties. If you want to get a good aquarium for your baby water turtle, go ahead and read this article on turtle tank filters.

Another aspect you need to be aware is that baby water turtles need heated water that is changed on daily basis. If you opt for a water filter, you can go for up to 3 days without having to empty the aquarium. Just make sure the filter doesn’t create a strong current which makes turtles paddle to much and get exhausted.

If they have a warm climate, baby turtles are more likely to survive and grow bigger. The temperature inside the tank should be approximately 85 Fahrenheit degrees. Moreover, get an incandescent lamp and use it to heat the basking spot, especially if you have a rock designed for the basking process. You can always buy an aquarium thermometer that enables you to adjust the water temperature.

Depending on your room temperature, you might need to cover the tank partially in order to prevent the water getting cold. Avoid condensation because turtles can’t dry out because they require humidity to grow.

Besides the environment conditions, baby turtles need a certain food diet that contains plenty of Vitamin D3 and Calcium. They are mostly carnivorous but need vegetables as well. You can give them butter lettuce, carrot slivers, or frozen veggie cubes for fish. Keep in mind to chop the pieces small.

Also, you can feed them with dried or frozen bloodworms that you can purchase from specialized stores. The reason why their diet includes them is that they are high in protein. However, try not to give them daily.

The frozen veggie cubes feature a variety of vegetables that are healthy for baby turtles. One good food choice for water turtles is the redworms, chopped into small tiny bits. You can also add chopped earthworms or tadpoles.  

There’s no need to worry about making time to feed the baby turtles since they only require feeding once or twice a day. Plus, it’s enough if you give them small meals and keep some veggies floating in the tank if turtles want to nibble on. It’s important not to overfeed them because if they grow too fast there’s a risk their shells deform.

Aside from this, try to give them plenty of fresh food because it prevents the protein and fat overdose, which again can cause deformities to the turtle shell.