Cool facts about tortoises and turtles

Ever since my twins were born I became even more interested in looking after the environment and offering a clean legacy to them. While fishing is both my job and my long-time passion, keeping the environment clean and fresh is also of great importance for me. Probably this is why I decided to invest more time in Earth-friendly campaigns, and raise my kids with the same love and respect for Mother Nature.

And while I love all pets, looking after cats or dogs is challenging and time-consuming, so I decided to start off with something more simple – a turtle. I purchased one for my kids to see if they were responsible and mature enough to look after it themselves, without my constant interventions. In the process, I also documented more and wanted to share with you some cool and interesting facts about these animals.



What are turtles and tortoises?

There are nearly species of turtles and tortoises around the globe. The main difference between them is that turtles spend their lives in water, while tortoises live on the ground. Terrapins can also be considered turtles but they spend an equal amount of time on land and in water.

No matter what species you decide to purchase, these animals are quite easy to look after, and not so pretentious.

The perfect environment for turtles and tortoises is one with plenty of room to spare. Opt for a large aquarium or even a mini-pool with sufficient freshwater, rocks, and some dry land. The more place your turtles will have to explore, the better. They are extremely curious animals, so make sure to keep their interest alive by allowing them to discover new territories on a regular basis.


Fun facts about turtles and tortoises

Tortoises are the ones that inspired the ancient Roman military forms. The Roman legions were known for their intriguing combat techniques. They used to protect their commanders with shields from all sides and march as a compact group each time. This is why they succeeded in so many battles because they didn’t allow blank spaces between soldiers, diminishing the risk of getting hit by arrows.

Later on, the testudo formation has become popular among other reigns as well.

Another fun fact about turtles is that the lighter the shell, the warmer their origin. Tortoises live in plenty of places amongst the globe and are some of the animals that can adapt to different weather conditions the easiest. You can easily figure out the origin of your tortoise by simply looking at its shell. If it is light colored, it most definitely comes from a hot area, including parts of the Sahara Desert. On the contrary, if the shell is darker, your pet comes from a cooler place.



Things to know before getting a turtle as your pet


Many people find pet turtles cute, and they may think that they are easy to care for. While it is true that caring for a pet turtle is not rocket science, it is equally true that you need to dedicate some time to think about what such an endeavor would entail for you. As the owner of a pet turtle, I want to give you some advice on the matter.

Why you might not want a pet turtle

To make things clear right from the get-go, let’s see some reasons that could and should keep you away from getting such an animal as your pet. First of all, you must bear in mind that, while the small pet you got from the pet store is just a little cute animal, this creature can grow, and, with its size, so the tank where you keep it should grow, too.

Do you have enough space for housing a decently sized tank for your growing turtle? If you live in a small apartment, my advice would be to get a different type of pet. Although there are species that do not grow that much, there are still other things that you should know.

Keeping the water clear in the tank is paramount for the turtle’s health. Cleaning the tank regularly involves a bit of mess and a lot of responsibility on your part. So, be prepared. Another thing you might not particularly like about having a pet turtle is that this animal does not enjoy being cuddled, petted, or anything similar.


Keeping your pet turtle healthy

Once of the most significant challenges of caring for this type of pet is to know when it is the time to take it to the vet. Besides caring for the environment where you keep the pet turtle, you will also have to pay attention to various warning signs.

For instance, if your turtle prefers to spend all the time in hiding, and it no longer eats or drinks fresh water, that should be an alert sign. A pet turtle that is ill will experience weight loss, and you may even notice signs like discharge from its nose, mouth, and eyes. Turtles can also suffer from diarrhea.

It is not easy to take care of a pet turtle on your own. That is why my advice is to take the small animal to a vet and let a professional run a checkup and give it the necessary treatment.

Care about your health, too

Turtles can be carriers of bacteria, Salmonella in particular. That is why you should always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pet. The viruses and bacteria developing on the turtle’s shell and skin can be contagious, which is why such recommendations are valid.


Important things to do when keeping aquatic turtles


I have a thing for animals ever since I was a little boy. It’s no wonder I started fishing before I was able to spell my own name. Fortunately, I was blessed with two amazing twins that share my passion for animals. At first, I was a little reluctant about giving them an animal as a pet. But after seeing what they’ve done with this cute turtle, I think I’m ready to take it to the next level.

In the meantime, I’ve thought about other animal lovers that might want to breed turtles and came with some useful tips that might cat your interest and make you want to read this article.

Now, you can’t ever handle the turtles without a proper handwash. This applies before putting your hands on them and after you’ve finished playing with the turtle. Because Salmonellosis is associated with turtles, in addition to other reptiles or poultry, you need to prevent salmonella to be transmitted to humans. One less factor is that turtles can get salmonella from your unwashed hands and pass it on to others, including you. Therefore, wash your hands before and after you’ve spent time with your beloved turtle.


Baby turtles and any kind of turtle are extremely cute. Even though we consider them pets, in reality, they shouldn’t be handles like dogs and cats. Compared to mammals or birds, turtles are not domesticated animals that have the concept of affection in their DNA. If they appear jolly and fun when they see you is because they know they are getting fed and not because they like you. Ideally, you should limit the handling and treat the turtles just like tropical fish. They are great for looking at but you’ll never get the fish out of the tank just for fun.

I’ve mentioned the fish because they have almost the same needs as turtles, especially when talking about water and water tanks. Just like you wash your clothes and get new ones that are clean, turtles need a new change of water on a regular basis. Thanks to modern discoveries, there are several systems that provide mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, all in one. I suggest you invest in a good water filter to make sure the turtles are happy and healthy inside the aquarium.

Depending on the turtle specie, you need to make sure you provide similar conditions to their natural habitat. For instance, box turtles need an aquarium that comes with a water dish for soaking, while cooters and sliders would die in a habitat like this. So you need to do your research and learn about their needs and whether the specie you own comes with certain requirements.

You should consider aspects such as basking time, type of tank, food, and so on. It is preferable to do your homework before you bring the turtle home so you have time to make purchases.