Turtles belong to the family of reptiles.
Reptiles are creatures that can exist on land as well as water. They are cold blooded animals that can vary their body temperature according to the environment. Turtles are found on land, in the sea and also in fresh water ponds and streams.
A turtle has a shell covering its body like a shield which is developed from its ribs. Turtles are herbivorous but they eat insects too. Most of the turtles after getting through their infant years go on to have a very long life.
They are considered to be one of the oldest living creatures of our modern world. These animals reproduce by laying eggs.
There are more than 300 species of turtle that are found all across the globe. The popularly known species are; The Pacific pond Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Western Painted Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Texas Spiny Soft shell, Desert Box Turtle, Yellow Mud Turtle, Leather back Sea Turtle, Texas Cooter, Baja California Slider, Common Musk Turtle, Pacific Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Red Ear Slider, Diamondback Terrapin, Wood Turtle, Spotted Turtle and the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.
If you are looking to get a pet turtle a few tips on the species and breed identification are; the physical characteristics are what tell us a lot about the species the turtle belongs to and all you have to do is closely notice the following things:
You should talk to your vet before you decide on a specific type of turtle to understand its specific requirements.
- Firstly don’t just go and pick up the turtle. If it is a snapping turtle then it will snap at your fingers. Check the toes of the turtle. If it has claws on the front two feet and web on the back feet and a dark shell with hook shaped jaws than it is surely a snapping turtle.
- If the shell is shaped like a dome and high than it is a box turtle.
- If the shell is soft then it is a soft shell turtle.
- If the toes are webbed then it is an aquatic or semi aquatic turtle.
- If they are sea turtles then you will notice that the front legs look like flappers. These are usually found on beaches and near river or ponds.
- If a turtle is found with claws on the front and hind legs then it is a land turtle.
- You will know that it is a painted turtle which belongs to the Chrysemys turtle species, when you notice the shell to be flat and colored in orange, yellow and black.