Land turtles are an amazing species of animals considered timeless. Experts who conduct research in the world of flora and fauna claim that they have not had significant changes for 200 million years. You can have such a pet at home, but how do you know how old a land tortoise is?
Turtles are popular among breeders due to the lack of special requirements for maintenance and care. Slow animals are able to live in an apartment for many decades – 150 years or more. Many owners of turtles do not even represent the real age of their pet. It is impossible to determine it with absolute probability. The advice of experienced breeders will help determine the approximate age.
Determining the age of a land tortoise by the size of the shell
Turtles grow almost throughout their lives, which leads to a change in the shell – its size and shape. Other parts of the body also change – the claws and tail become longer. Newborn pets have a length of 3-3.5 cm. Babies weigh only 10-12 grams. After a year, the dimensions increase by about 1 cm, and the weight doubles. Turtles, which turned 24 months old, reach a length of about 5.5-6 cm. Their weight is 48-65 g. Over the next year, pets add up to 7.5-9 cm. The total weight is from 95 to 150 grams. Ten-year-old animals have a length of 15 cm or more, and weight – from 150 g. The rate of weight gain and shell increase depends on many factors: the size of the terrarium, the type and quality of food, the presence of additives, and more.
Determining the age of the turtle by the number of rings on the shell
There is another way to determine the age of a land tortoise. It consists in counting the number of rings located on the upper zone of the shell. It is called carapace. To do this, select one of the clearest scales. On the last, you need to calculate the number of rings that are, upon close examination, grooves. To get more reliable data, it is worth conducting a study on several scales. If the values fluctuate, then to obtain reliable data, calculate the arithmetic mean.
During the year, the average turtle appears from 2 to 3 grooves. It all depends on the same living conditions and food system. In young individuals, rings appear faster. The rate of formation of furrows is also affected by the tendency of the turtle to hibernate. In animals aged, the carapace becomes smooth, the color fades significantly. It is not difficult to determine the approximate age of a pet; you just need to carefully observe it for a certain time.