Recently, it has become more and more fashionable to keep red-eared turtles at home. What kind of animal is this and why is it so popular? What are the features of the behavior and contents of these animals?
Trachemis in nature reaches 30 cm in length (on the shell), but when kept at home, they rarely grow to such sizes. Females are significantly larger than males. The carapace of young individuals has a bright green color, but as the turtle grows older, it acquires a brown or olive color with patterns of bright yellow stripes.
The head, neck and legs of the animal are decorated with a series of white and black stripes. The species got its name due to bright red spots near the eyes. These "ears" can also be saturated orange or juicy yellow. Thanks to its striking appearance, the red-eared turtle has become one of the most popular exotic pets.
He prefers to lead a sedentary lifestyle, but he swims very quickly in the water, and is extremely curious. Can hiss and snort, expressing his displeasure and anxiety. When defending his life, he can inflict serious wounds with the sharp claws of his hind legs. In the cold season, a phenomenon such as suspended animation, or hibernation of red-eared turtles, occurs.
How long does red eater live and where does it live?
This type of turtles can rightfully be considered a long-liver. Under favorable conditions, life expectancy is 40 years. An interesting fact is that the red-eared turtle has a high level of intelligence that is not characteristic of other reptiles. These animals are very sensitive to vibrations and their behavior can warn of an impending earthquake or storm. When choosing food, the red-eared tortoise first focuses on color, and only then on the smell and taste of the object.
These reptiles are widespread in nature. They can be found in the wild in Central and South America, Israel, South Africa, Spain and even the UK. But in Australia, this species is officially recognized as a pest, since it destroys local endemic species. Red-eared dwellers live in shallow ponds and lakes, in other reservoirs with swampy shores.
The content of this exotic animal is actually much more complicated than it seemed at first. These turtles spend most of their time in water, although they need land. For one adult, a water area of 120-150 liters will be comfortable, while the land should occupy no more than 25% of the total area. On an improvised shore, special soil or gravel should be poured, while making a gentle rise. The tortoise shell should be completely placed in water so that the animal can easily turn over on its back and back.
For this type of amphibian, the optimum temperature is 25-30 degrees Celsius. When the temperature drops to 20 degrees, hibernation can occur in the red-eared turtles. Replace the water in the aquarium as necessary, at least once a month. In order for the turtle to be healthy, it also needs to be provided with a portioned exposure to a UV lamp.
What to feed the rubella?
When living in captivity, shrimp or any other small crustaceans must be included in the diet of this type of turtles. The trachea turtle enjoys eating river snails, small pieces of fresh fish or meat, as well as bloodworms and earthworms. Turtles need to get enough calcium, otherwise shell diseases will start. Poor appetite may indicate a disease. Hibernation of red-eared turtles is also preceded by a decrease in interest in food.
It is worth adding vegetable food: duckweed, seaweed, lettuce, spinach, cabbage. Young individuals, in connection with the active growth of the body, need twice daily feeding. Turtles older than two years should be fed no more than three times a week. With a uniform diet, it is worthwhile to provide top dressing with special vitamins for turtles.
Hibernation of the Red-eared Turtles
As mentioned above, this species of amphibians can fall into suspended animation – a state of reduced activity. Usually this period occurs in the cold season and is a protective reaction of the animal’s body to lower temperatures and reduce the amount of food available.
How does the red-eared turtle sleep at home? Given the optimal conditions for keeping an amphibian and the lack of the need to independently get their own food, domestic eared animals may not fall into suspended animation at all. But since instincts can work at the subconscious level, in winter the turtle can be more lethargic and suffer from poor appetite.
If you notice such behavior in your pet, then it is better to show it to the veterinarian, since it can be caused by the disease. How long does the red-eared turtle sleep? Typically, the period of suspended animation lasts one to three months, but at home it can be much shorter.
Is hibernation of red-eared turtles caused artificially? Yes, you can specifically enter the animal into a state of suspended animation. To do this, it is enough to lower the temperature and reduce the lighting in the aquarium. However, it is best to consult with the veterinarian about the need for artificial insertion of rubella in hibernation before taking any action.