Saturday, October 26, 2013

Important Tortoise Facts

The tortoises are amongst the most popular animals as pets. They are a part of the Testudo family. However, even if thousands of people want to have turtles, the lack of knowledge about those animals leads to premature death. It is important to create proper conditions if you want your pet to survive for a long time. Some tortoises can live up to 75 years, so when you buy a tortoise, you can consider that you bought a companion for the entire life. The tortoises will reach 20-30 centimeters on average at maturity, but there are smaller and bigger dimensions. The carapace is convex, especially in the central part and it is oval for the mature exemplars. The skin is covered with scales. Usually, the males are smaller than the females, but this is not valid for all the species.

The majority of tortoises are protected species, so hunting, selling or buying them is forbidden and punished accordingly. A common species that can be found commonly, and which is not under the danger of extinction is Testudo Hermanni, which has a yellow shell. The eyes are blue or black, and the young exemplars have black spots in the shell.

The tortoises need external heat sources to maintain the temperature of the body. They are active animals, which hibernate during the winter season. If you choose to have more than one, it is better to separate males and females, as those are aggressive and they might hurt the females. The best method to differentiate the males and females is the length of the tale. The tale of the males is significantly longer than the one of females, and they are also smaller.

Preparing the habitat is important for the health of your pets. The tortoises must be kept outside during the warm season, when the temperatures vary from 18 to 30 degrees. In this case, it is necessary to prepare a special place, as big as possible, preferable made of natural stones. Place a mix of sand and mud of at least 10 centimeters. It is important for the respective place to be ensured against escaping, as the tortoises are good climbers, and they also like to dig in the sand. Make sure that the tortoises can’t enter into contact with other animals, as conflicts will appear or the tortoises might be hurt. The habitat must be partially covered, so it will offer the tortoises a place where to withdraw in case of bad weather. You can offer them a wooden house, which you must introduce in the habitat. The uncovered part must be sunny, as the tortoises need sunlight. You can put stones in the interior of the pen. The tortoises behave the same in a free environment or in captivity. During the morning, they will get out of the house to eat, at lunch, when the sun is strong, they will withdraw and they will get out of the house the second time for another meal in the afternoon.

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