In ancient times, there was a belief that the planet Earth rested on the shell of a gigantic tortoise. In Chinese mythology, this reptile was one of the sacred animals. Adherents of esotericism used the shell of turtles for predictions. Apparently, the number of plates that are located on the edge "turtle house"contributed to this. The Chinese people depicted this animal on imperial banners, believing that the turtle protects from fire and war.
In Japan, this mysterious creature was considered a symbol of longevity, wisdom and immortality. Eastern doctors tried to make a miraculous potion out of a turtle shell that could slow down the aging of the human body. In India, people drew attention to the fact that the tortoise tends to hide in the shell. They identified this feature with meditation and spirituality.
Legend of the turtle
Among the Mongolian people there is a legend that once a turtle moved from north to south. On the way, she met a warrior who shot an arrow at her. An arrow pierced the tortoise’s shell, killing it to death.
A forest arose from the side of the damaged shell, and a sea formed from the blood of a dying animal. it was the north side of the world. The flame that finally burst out of the turtle’s throat was called the south side. According to legend, lumps of earth were clamped in the paws of the animal, which subsequently formed the soil with the whole plant world. So, according to the myth, all sides of the world and the earth have occurred.
Scientists believe that turtles appeared on Earth 200 million years ago. They have not changed much since. The only thing, some of them mastered the land, others. deep sea and fresh water. Researchers suggest that the life span of a turtle on earth is over 200 years! The age of this amazing creature can be judged by the shields on his shell.
The shell of turtles around the world consists of two shields: dorsal and abdominal. They are interconnected. The shell has openings for the head, legs, and tail. With the approaching danger, the turtle hides in its shelter.
In some species of this animal, the shell is soft, but it is quite durable. Therefore, a formidable predator will not be able to bite him. The carapace serves as a real protection for the turtle. Indeed, by nature she is clumsy and slow, and the “house with herself” will always save and hide from ill-wishers.
Turtles are divided into marine, river and land. Scientists have approximately 230 species of these interesting creatures. They have some differences in color, size and body structure.
For example, land and river turtles are smaller in size than their sea brethren. All reptiles. extremely heat-loving creatures. Their habitat is the tropics and subtropics.
Only in the very hot deserts of New Zealand and the Pacific coast of South America, travelers will not be able to meet turtles. The land species lives in almost all corners of our planet. In Russia, river turtles and sea turtles are known.
The most beautiful representative of the turtle world. rubella This is a freshwater turtle that has a shell size of more than 25 centimeters. The beautiful reptile has been growing for many years. Over 1.5 years, the shell of a red-eared turtle reaches a diameter of about 7.5 cm. Then it continues to grow more slowly, adding 1 cm per year. The shell of a red-eared turtle can reach a maximum length of 30 centimeters.
She herself hails from the southeastern United States. Outwardly, he is a pretty creature. On both sides of the head, the turtle has scarlet spots, for which it was called “red-eared”. Although in reality she does not have ears. It is interesting that the shell of the red-eared turtles is able to change color depending on their age and habitat. In young individuals, light shades prevail, in adults. darker tones, down to black.
Russian lovers of the living corner willingly acquire this particular type of tortoise. The point is not only in the bright color of the reptile, but also in its unpretentiousness. But there are some features that should be considered.
For example, it is a mistake to choose a small terrarium for the red-eared bug. After all, the reptile will grow up and require more space. It is necessary to stock up on 100-150 liters of terrarim. It must provide for a dry space, and the water level must exceed the size of the tortoise shell.
It is recommended to change the water in the aquarium 1-2 times a week and maintain a temperature of at least 20-26 ° C. If you neglect these rules, then after a while you can spot an unhealthy color on the shell of the animal. Connoisseurs advise putting an aquarium with a turtle in a sunny place, as the pet likes to soak in the warm rays.
The health of the turtle, including the condition of its shell, is directly dependent on nutrition. It must be balanced. On sale there is a considerable amount of feed for turtles, but not all mineral and vitamin supplements are taken into account in them.
This will sooner or later affect the health of the reptile. In parallel with this, you can find that the red-eared turtle has a soft shell, which is not its natural feature. Supplement the diet with finely chopped fresh fish. Moths and earthworms can serve as excellent feed additives for turtles.
The shell. health indicator
Carapace of turtles often suffers from traumatic injury. Especially for this are land reptiles. The cause may be the fall of the turtle from a height. Sometimes a turtle can be accidentally stepped on or pinched in the doorway.
That is why the tortoise shell should be periodically inspected for cracks, scratches and other changes. If the owner noticed stains on the shell of a turtle or a suspicious color change, this may indicate the presence of secondary bacterial and fungal microflora. Such lesions can lead to partial or complete destruction of the shell. With such signs, you should immediately consult a doctor!
Consider the reasons why the tortoiseshell becomes soft. If this is not due to a natural feature, then, most likely, this is due to the lack of calcium in the body of the animal. This also indicates the non-compliance with the rules of the turtle, a lack of ultraviolet rays and a lack of vitamin D.
If you notice, for example, that the red-eared turtle has a soft shell, then hurry to the doctor for examination. Only he can say for sure what caused this phenomenon and what needs to be done. Often owners of reptiles notice spots on the shell of a turtle in the form of algae. If they are poorly expressed and few, then there is nothing to worry about. If the turtle is “overgrown” with such a pattern, attention should be paid to water pollution and lighting. White spots on the tortoise shell can indicate the presence of fungus. Self-treatment of reptiles is not recommended. In any case, if spots are noticed on the shell of a red-eared tortoise, it is better to consult a herpetologist in time.
This reptile is considered the largest tortoise in the world. Her body weight ranges up to 600 kilograms, and its length reaches 3 meters. Why does a tortoise shell attract attention? The carapace of reptiles of this species consists of interconnected bone plates. But he is not connected with the skeleton. A distinctive feature of the shell of a leatherback turtle. extremely thick skin! Scientists note that this reptile does not know how to pull its head into the shell because of the unusual structure of its body.
Science knows another major species. giant tortoise. Sometimes it is called gigantic, or Seychelles. Reptile lives on the island of Aldabra. The turtle is interesting in its structure: it has rather powerful paws and a small head relative to the body. Its carapace is rather sloping and reaches 130 centimeters.
Musk Turtle. the smallest in the world. Her habitat. reservoirs of the USA and Canada. This creation of nature weighs a little more than 200 grams. The length of the turtle. about 8 centimeters, the shell reaches about 6-7 centimeters. As a defense, the reptile can exude a rather unpleasant odor due to the fluid that accumulates in her back of the carapace. The turtle is omnivorous and unpretentious. The diet of her diet includes small fish, various aquatic vegetation.
An unusual structure among turtles stands out roofing. Her homeland. India. The shell of this interesting turtle is about 40 cm long.
The reptile has a keel on its back. Especially striking is the backward-directed tooth on the third vertebral flap. The coloring of the roofing turtle is excellent!
The belly of the reptile. reddish yellow with clear black spots. The head and nape are highlighted in bright red. The shell, bordered by a light yellow ribbon, plays a greenish-brown hue.
Female turtles lay their eggs in sand or in rotten plants. The number of eggs can be from 7 to 100 pieces. Hatching from them, little turtles rush to the water, considering it their refuge.
But already along the way, reptiles can serve as food for various predators: crabs and birds. All of them want to try tortoise meat. However, reptiles can also be eaten in water. Simply, being in the water, the turtles move faster, and they have more chances of survival.