Marvin, male hawksbill, coming up for a breathe, Maldives. Sea turtles can hold their breath for several hours, depending on their level of activity. If they are sleeping, they can remain underwater for several hours. In cold water during winter, when they are effectively hibernating, they can hold their breath for up to 7 hours.
- 1 Do sea turtles sleep underwater?
- 2 How big is a sea turtle heart?
- 3 How long can a turtle live without a head?
- 4 Do sea turtles eat jellyfish?
- 5 Can cows hold their breath?
- 6 Do turtles mate for life?
- 7 How do whales sleep?
- 8 Should my turtle be in water all the time?
How long can turtles breathe underwater?
How long can sea turtles stay underwater? – When they are active, sea turtles must swim to the ocean surface to breathe every few minutes. When they are resting, they can remain underwater for as long as 2 hours without breathing.
Do sea turtles sleep underwater?
Daily Activities – Sea turtles are known to feed and rest off and on during a typical day. During nesting season, research conducted in the southeast United States helped discovered that loggerheads follow regular patterns between the nesting beach itself and offshore reefs and other rocky structures.
It is presumed that mating and/or feeding occurs at these offshore areas. When it is not nesting season, sea turtles may migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles. Sea turtles can sleep at the surface while in deep water or on the bottom wedged under rocks in nearshore waters. Many divers have seen green turtles sleeping under ledges in reefs and rocks.
Hatchlings typically sleep floating on the surface, and they usually have their front flippers folded back over the top of their backs.
How do sea turtles hold their breath for so long?
Turtles, such as this snapping turtle, spend the winter in state of brumination under water, which means they have to find a different way to breathe. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Bobal) As winter sets in and ice starts to cover our lakes and ponds, you may wonder what happens to all the animals living in the water.
- How do they survive? Many of the aquatic turtles that live in northern Illinois spend the entire winter underwater, but they are still able to get oxygen.
- Their ability to “breathe” underwater is because of how their metabolism is affected by their body temperature, according to PBS News Hour.
- Like all reptiles, turtles are ectotherms, or cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is determined by their environment.
If the water they are in is 60 degrees F, their body temperature is 60 degrees F. If the water is 32 degrees F, their body temperature is 32 degrees F. Compare this to humans and most other mammals, which are endotherms, or warm-blooded, meaning their metabolism allows them to maintain a steady body temperature regardless of the temperature of their environment.
For example, humans usually maintain a body temperature of about 98.6 degrees F, while a horse typically maintains a body temperature between 99 degrees F and 101 degrees F. For turtles, their body temperature determines the rate of their metabolism, PBS News Hour reports. As it gets colder and their body temperature drops, so, too, does their metabolism.
This means their heart rate and respiration rate drops, and they require less energy and oxygen to survive. In the cold of winter, turtles enter a state of brumation. Brumation is essentially the same as hibernation, but reptiles brumate while mammals hibernate.
RELATED: THERE’S MORE TO HIBERNATION THAN YOU THINK During brumation, turtles don’t require much oxygen, but what they need they can’t get by breathing like they do in the warmer parts of the year, according to the McGill University Office of Science and Society, Instead, they use another form of respiration, which is kind of like breathing through their butts.
The technical term for this butt-breathing is cloacal respiration, and it’s not quite like the breathing you do, or even like turtles do when they are above water, the university Office of Science and Society reports. Through cloacal respiration, turtles get oxygen from the water by moving the water over their body surfaces covered in blood vessels.
- Turtles have a cloaca, which is essentially their butt, that has a lot of blood vessels, so the most efficient way to get oxygen is through the cloaca, hence the term cloacal respiration.
- Turtles aren’t the only butt breathers in the animal kingdom; it’s fairly common among reptiles and amphibians, according to McGill University.
Other well-known butt breathers include frogs and salamanders.
How long do sea turtles sleep?
How Much Do Green Sea Turtles Sleep? – Green sea turtles sleep for long durations of time throughout the day. In fact, studies conducted on habits of green sea turtles indicate that they rest for approximately 11 hours a day, That’s nearly half of their daily routine! Green sea turtles will also change their sleeping habits depending on the pattern of daylight present and where they’re situated. For example, if a green sea turtle is lounging in shallow water (as is common practice for the species), the sunlight that reflects on the water will actually induce a sleeping period.
- This is likely a mechanism meant to conserve energy, but sunlight does affect how much sleep a green sea turtle will get in a day.
- Typically, however, a green sea turtle will migrate to deeper waters by nightfall and thus a deeper sleep.
- Sleep is also vital to a green sea turtle’s ability to mate, as being without sufficient energy reserves means an inability to reproduce, which could have detrimental effects on the long term survival of the species.
Considering that the species is currently in an endangered state, the need for sleep and proper energy among green sea turtles could not be more critical.
How long can dolphins hold their breath?
How Long Can a Dolphin Hold Its Breath? – Dolphins can survive out of water for several hours if they are kept wet and in an appropriate temperature, but just how long can they stay underwater until they need to breathe again? Even though dolphins can’t breathe underwater, they can still hold their breath for a very long time.
How many hearts do sea turtles have?
Getting to the Heart of the Matter Sea turtles, like most reptiles, have three-chambered hearts: two atria and one ventricle with a sinus venosus preceding the atria. Humans also have a sinus venosus, but only in early development – later it’s incorporated into the right atrium wall. The ventricle is comprised of three different parts: cavum venosum, cavum arteriosum, and cavum pulmonae.
Clearly, there is a lot going on in the heart of a turtle, and while those scientific words may sound confusing, the way they work together produces incredible results. A UNCW researcher, Dr. Southwood, along with others conducted studies on heart rates and diving behavior of leatherbacks -the deepest divers of the sea turtle clan.
Using an ECG she measured their cardiac activity while at the surface, while descending or ascending, and while at depth. Once the leatherbacks initiated a dive, their heart rate would immediately decline as they submerged. The rate would continue to slow and even reached as few as 1 beat per minute, indicated a physiological response to energy conservation. Archives Select Month April 2023 March 2023 December 2022 November 2022 April 2022 February 2021 January 2021 December 2020 November 2020 October 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 July 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 May 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 We partner with this amazing non-profit organization to ignite the wonder of the next generation and to change the world, one rehabilitated sea turtle at a time.
How big is a sea turtle heart?
We made morphometric measurements of the Ballum heart and created an interactive 3D model using high-resolution MRI. The volume of the ventricle was 950 ml, from a turtle of 300 kg, which is proportionally almost twice as large as in other reptiles.
What animal can hold breath for 6 days?
Scorpions are organisms which can hold their breath for up to even 6 days. Scorpions are called arachnids, which are members of the animal kingdom’s arachnid class. Their modified lungs, which are known as book lungs, also allow them to hold their breath for long.
How long can a turtle live without a head?
In a 17th-century experiment, Italian physician Francesco Redi removed a tortoise’s brain. It lived for six more months. Redi then removed the tortoise’s head; shockingly, it remained alive for almost another month. This has led researchers to believe that tortoises’ movements are controlled by muscle memory.
Do sea turtles eat jellyfish?
Leatherback: Leatherback turtles are often known as gelatinivores, meaning they only eat invertebrates such as jellyfish and sea squirts. Flatback: This species will eat everything from seaweed to shrimp and crabs.
How long can a human go without breathing?
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after an electric shock, drowning, or heart attack. CPR involves:
Rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to a person’s lungs.Chest compressions, which keep the person’s blood circulating.
Permanent brain damage or death can occur within 4 minutes if a person’s blood flow stops. Therefore, you must continue CPR until the person’s heartbeat and breathing return, or trained medical help arrives. For the purposes of CPR, puberty is defined as breast development in females and the presence of axillary (armpit) hair in males.
- CPR is best done by someone trained in an accredited CPR course.
- The procedures described here are NOT a substitute for CPR training.
- The newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway management, reversing a long-standing practice.
- See cpr.heart.org/en/course-catalog-search for classes near you.
Time is very important when an unconscious person is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only 4 minutes without oxygen, and death can occur as soon as 4 to 6 minutes later. Machines called automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be found in many public places, and are available for home use.
Drug overdoseExcessive bleedingHeart problem (heart attack or abnormal heart rhythm, fluid in the lungs or compressing the heart)Infection in the bloodstream ( sepsis )Injuries and accidentsDrowningStroke
There are many things that cause an older child or teen’s heartbeat and breathing to stop, including:
ChokingDrowningElectrical shockExcessive bleedingHead trauma or other serious injuryLung diseasePoisoningSuffocation
1. Check for responsiveness, Shake or tap the person gently. See if the person moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?” 2. Call 911 or the local emergency number if there is no response, Shout for help and send someone to call 911 or the local emergency number.
If you are alone, call 911 or the local emergency number and retrieve an AED (if available), even if you have to leave the person.3. Carefully place the person on their back, If there is a chance the person has a spinal injury, two people should move the person to prevent the head and neck from twisting.4.
Perform chest compressions :
Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone – right between the nipples.Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand.Position your body directly over your hands.Give 30 chest compressions. These compressions should be fast and hard. Press down about 2 inches (5 centimeters) into the chest. Each time, let the chest rise completely. Count the 30 compressions quickly: “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30, off”.
5. Open the airway, Lift up the chin with 2 fingers. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.6. Look, listen, and feel for breathing, Place your ear close to the person’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.7. If the person is not breathing or has trouble breathing :
Cover their mouth tightly with your mouth.Pinch the nose closed.Keep the chin lifted and head tilted.Give 2 rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise.
8. Repeat chest compressions and rescue breathing until the person recovers or help arrives. If an AED for adults is available, use it as soon as possible. If the person starts breathing again, place them in the recovery position. Keep checking for breathing until help arrives.
If the person has normal breathing, coughing, or movement, DO NOT begin chest compressions. Doing so may cause the heart to stop beating. Unless you are a health professional, DO NOT check for a pulse. Only a health care professional is properly trained to check for a pulse.
If you have help, tell one person to call 911 or the local emergency number while another person begins CPR. If you are alone, as soon as you determine that the person is unresponsive, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. Then begin CPR.
In adults, to avoid injuries and heart problems that can lead to the heart stopping beating:
Eliminate or reduce risk factors that contribute to heart disease, such as cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and stress.Get plenty of exercise.See your health care provider regularly.Always use seat belts and drive safely.Avoid using illegal drugs.
Most children need CPR because of a preventable accident. The following tips may help prevent some accidents in children:
Teach your children the basic principles of family safety.Teach your child to swim.Teach your child to watch for cars and ride bikes safely.Teach your child firearm safety. If you have guns in your home, keep them locked in an isolated cabinet.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – adult; Rescue breathing and chest compressions – adult; Resuscitation – cardiopulmonary – adult; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – child 9 years and older; Rescue breathing and chest compressions – child 9 years and older; Resuscitation – cardiopulmonary – child 9 years and older American Heart Association website.
- Highlights of the 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC.
- Accessed March 24, 2023.
- Duff JP, Topjian A, Berg MD, et al.2019 American Heart Association focused update on pediatric advanced life support: an update to the American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care.
Circulation,2019;140(24):e904-e914. PMID: 31722551 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31722551/, Morley PT. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (including defibrillation). In: Bersten AD, Handy JM, eds. Oh’s Intensive Care Manual,8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.
Panchal AR, Berg KM, Kudenchuk PJ, et al.2018 American Heart Association focused update on advanced cardiovascular life support use of antiarrhythmic drugs during and immediately after cardiac arrest: an update to the American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care.
Circulation,2018;138(23):e740-e749. PMID: 30571262 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30571262/, Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M.
Which animals don t breathe?
Published on Mar.1, 2020, 10:39 PM Parasite that causes ‘tapioca disease’ in fish muscle has no mitochondrial genes Scientists have discovered something they didn’t think existed: an animal that can’t breathe oxygen, and obviously doesn’t need to. That animal is a parasite called Henneguya salminocola, distantly related to jellyfish.
It lives in the muscles of salmon and trout, causing unsightly little white nodules known as “tapioca disease.” The parasite has just 10 cells and is smaller than many of the cells in our bodies, but it has an extraordinary superpower — the ability to live without the machinery to turn oxygen into energy, researchers reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
“In a way, it changes our view of animals,” said senior author Dorothée Huchon, a zoology professor in the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, who worked with collaborators in Israel, the U.S.
And Canada. While many microbes have evolved the ability to live without oxygen, animals tend to be much more complex, with many different kinds of cells and tissues combined in one organism. As far as scientists knew until now, all animals were powered by organelles called mitochondria, which convert sugar and oxygen into energy through a process called respiration, and have their own “mitochondrial” genes.
Content continues below This fluorescence micrograph of spores of the parasite Henneguya salminicola, the first animal ever found that doesn’t breathe oxygen. (Stephen Douglas Atkinson) Huchon was sequencing the genomes of Henneguya extracted from a Chinook salmon and related fish parasites when she noticed Henneguya’s mitochondrial genes were missing.
Can cows hold their breath?
Investigating the Cow’s Body Structure – When discussing the swimming abilities of cows, it’s important to first analyze their body structure. Cows are large mammals, with four legs that support their body weight. They also possess a barrel-shaped body, a sturdy bone structure, and strong muscles.
- But what does this all mean for their ability to swim? In terms of buoyancy, a cow’s body fat and cavity-filled organs provide them with natural flotation.
- It’s the arrangement of these organs and fat deposits that may aid in their ability to float on water.
- Additionally, cows have a large lung capacity, allowing them to hold their breath for extended periods, which is crucial when swimming.
Looking at their limbs, cow legs are relatively short and sturdy compared to other marine animals. While not specifically designed for swimming, their legs can efficiently propel them through water with a doggy-paddle style motion, Let’s take a closer look at these factors with some general statistics on cows:
|Body Length||5 – 6.5 feet (adult)|
|Body Mass Index (BMI)||24 – 36 (adult female), 27 – 39 (adult male)|
|Lung capacity||Varies with age and breed|
It’s important to recognize that the swimming capabilities of cows may differ depending on their breed. Some breeds are more suited for water, such as the Scottish Highland cattle, which are known to willingly enter the water, even in colder temperatures.
What eats a sea turtle?
Natural Predators – Adult sea turtles have a few predators, mostly large sharks. Tiger sharks, in particular, are known for eating sea turtles. Killer whales have been known to prey on leatherback turtles. Fishes, dogs, seabirds, raccoons, ghost crabs, and other predators prey on eggs and hatchlings. More than 90% of hatchlings are eaten by predators. Flatback turtle nests are susceptible to predation by monitor lizards, dingoes, and introduced foxes.
Do turtles mate for life?
Every tortoise is a turtle but all turtles are not tortoises – Although turtles and tortoises typically do not display pair bonds or family group affiliations, social organizations exist in some species. For example, dominance hierarchies have been described in gopher tortoises, and individuals of this species as well as snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) also defend home ranges that may be important in mate access or control. Male dominance hierarchies also exist in wood turtles (Clemmys insculpta), and male rank has been shown to affect reproductive success. Males who consistently win fights against other, usually smaller, males enjoy a higher dominance rank and greater access to extended copulation with females.
Based on DNA paternity data, high-ranking males were found to father a significantly greater number of offspring than those of lower rank, as recorded by Galbraith in 1991. An important aspect of turtle reproductive biology is the ability of females to store viable sperm in their oviducts for long periods of time.
Females of many other taxa have evolved this ability as well. In many social insects, for example, a queen mates prior to entering the nest and then uses only this initial sperm to fertilize eggs throughout her reproductive lifetime, which may last for years and involve the production of thousands or millions of progeny. Among the vertebrates, turtles and snakes can store sperm for by far the longest periods. In species representing these two groups, reports exist of a female’s continued offspring production for up to 4 and even 7 years have been recorded, respectively, following isolation from males.
- To date, only a handful of surveys have examined genetic paternity in turtle broods from nature, but virtually every study has documented multiple paternity.
- Tortoises are polygamous, meaning they mate with many partners.
- Size not age determines when it is time to reproduce.
- Wild tortoise is often over 20 years old and in some species even 40 years old.
While in contrast, captive-raised animals reach sexual maturity between 10 and 20 years old. With some breeders pushing their animals at even five years old. We do not recommend this, however. Dominant males mate more often than less aggressive males. The female tortoise is able to store sperm in her cloaca, fertilizing her eggs for up to four years after copulation.
- Click to watch Leo displaying dominancy and he is half as small as the male he is fighting.
- Plus, they are not even the same species.
- Yet, testosterone is being created.
- The stimulatory effect of testosterone on male sexual activity is one of the clearest examples linking hormones and behaviors.
- However, this relationship is complex in Chelonians.
The male tortoise is most aggressive during mating season. When another male is encountered, he bobs his head in warning, stands tall and attacks. He uses his head and neck in an effort to flip his rival. A persistent male can even do serious damage to a female’s shell.
This is also the time that males can become really aggressive toward each other. Males attempt to tip opponents on their backs by getting under an opponent’s shell or by using their gular (throat) spurs. Gulars can do serious damage to a rival’s shell and skin, and a tortoise unable to right itself in a sunny area can overheat and die.
Courtship occurs during spring and summer. In fact, both male and female tortoises can be aggressive, but the female usually gives in eventually. The male circles the female, often nodding his head and biting at her legs and the edges of her carapace. He rams into her, attempting to trap her, so she can be mounted.
- Their mating is a noisy affair, filled with the sounds of hissing and grunting, while the male vigorously stamps his hind feet.
- Having more than one male in a group can stimulate breeding vigor due to the competition among males.
- However, in large tortoise groups, the strongest male can also dominate the other males and be the only one mating with the females.
During a one-year period, blood samples were collected from male and female G. nigra living under seminatural conditions on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos. Plasma steroid hormones were measured by radioimmunoassays (RIAs). In males, plasma testosterone and corticosterone increased a few months before the onset of the mating season. Peak levels were observed while most copulations occurred and environmental temperatures were highest. Both testosterone and corticosterone showed low levels during the cold and dry nesting season and high levels during the hot and rainy mating season. Plasma corticosterone levels of male and female gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) Both hormones peaked during the second half of the mating season and decreased during the cooler dry season. Female estradiol levels increased at the onset of the mating season, reaching the highest level at the peak of the mating season, which coincided with the highest annual temperatures measured. Progesterone decreased during the nesting season when ambient temperatures began to decrease and reached minimal levels in the post-breeding period shortly before the onset of the next mating season. There were significant annual variations in plasma testosterone in both males and females.
Do sea turtles have teeth?
But unlike cows, turtles don’t have any teeth at all! Like a bird, they have a beak. With their strong jaw muscles and hard beaks, carnivorous turtles crush the shells of their prey – crabs, sea urchins and clams, for example.
Why sharks are afraid of dolphins?
Just like we check under our beds for monsters, sharks check for dolphins before nodding off. That’s right, the toughest kids on the undersea block swim in fear of dolphins. Here, we’ve compiled a splash of facts to tell you why.
Flexibility Gives Dolphins the Upper Fin. A combination of soft skin and flexible skeletal joints make it easier for dolphins to maneuver quickly in a fight against their cartilage-filled counterparts. Tail of Two Species. The vertical plane of shark tails limits their upward and downward mobility while the horizontal plane of dolphin tails allows for great agility and directional change for quick attacks. When You Mess with the Dolphin, You Get the Snout. Made of very strong and thick bone, dolphin snouts are biological battering rams. Dolphins will position themselves several yards under a shark and burst upwards jabbing their snout into the soft underbelly of the shark causing serious internal injuries. Full-Time Orcas, Part-Time Shark Tamers. Proving a basic knowledge of shark biology. Orcas use their immensely strong tail fins to flip sharks on their back, rendering them immobile. After that, it’s a docile buffet for the Orcas. Baby Dolphins and Big Consequences. You Can’t Spell Dolphin without PhD. Sharks vs dolphins is a classic battle of brawns vs brains. Dolphins’ biggest advantage over sharks’ strength is their intelligence. Using echolocation, Dolphins can quickly navigate through water to avoid or attack sharks.
Bite Me If You Can. Known to be stealthy hunters, sharks’ best chance to take down a dolphin is when it’s unaware or in a blind spot. However, if the first attempt is not successful, the dolphin can easily escape or regroup to combat the shark with the rest of the pod. Faster Food. To compliment dolphins’ superior intelligence is their incredible speed.
They can swim faster than most shark species making them an elusive meal not worth the chase.
Whether you’re team dolphin or team shark, both are incredible species that roam our oceans. Come for a visit at SeaWorld Orlando and visit our Dolphin Cove so you can see them roam waters much closer to home.
How long can whales hold breath?
How Long Can A Whale Stay Underwater? – Again, we know that whales do breathe air, so how long can whales stay underwater on one breath? Whales can hold their breath for a very long time, and this ranges species to species. The average whale can hold its breath for about 60 minutes.
How do whales sleep?
Instead, they have a fascinating adaptation known as ‘unihemispheric sleep’. To be able to sleep, whales shut down half of their brain at a time. Being partially awake allows them to continue breathing and be aware of their surroundings. Whales will usually stay in place as they sleep near the surface.
Do turtles need to breathe underwater?
How do sea turtles breathe? How long can sea turtles hold their breath? – Despite spending most of their lives below the ocean surface, sea turtles cannot breathe underwater! They need to breathe air as they do not have gills so they cannot extract oxygen directly from the water.
Can turtles survive underwater?
How do turtles survive underwater? Asked by: Robert Lee, Penzance Even humans can survive underwater for a bit. The main problem is the lack of oxygen. Like us, turtles simply come up to breathe, although being cold-blooded they don’t use oxygen as quickly.
To avoid lung pressure problems, deep-diving turtles have considerable oxygen stores in blood and tissues. Research in several species also shows various adaptions to low oxygen/high carbon dioxide levels, for example, better tolerance of acid blood. Subscribe to for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.
: How do turtles survive underwater?
Should my turtle be in water all the time?
Download Article Download Article Pet turtles can be a great companion. Like all animals, turtles require careful care and attention to make sure they thrive and live healthy and full lives. From a proper habitat, nutrition, to water access, knowing your turtle’s needs is an important part of pet ownership.
- 1 Provide an enclosure with adequate space. Ten gallons per inch of your turtle is a general rule.50 gallon (189.3 L) minimum for a baby turtle (younger than a year old) and 120+ for an adult. Make sure that you have a general idea of the size your turtle will reach when full grown so you are not blindsided with keeping a turtle you cannot maintain.
- Decide on a land or aquatic turtle. Common turtles like box turtles will require a desert like landscape. If you want an aquatic turtle make sure there is dry land and adequate room to swim, and that your enclosure is sealed enough to hold water.
- 2 Provide proper filtration for aquatic turtles. A turtle needs a canister filter. A Rena Filstar XP3 or XP4 is highly recommended in keeping a turtle healthy. Without good filtration your turtle can get extremely sick as old food and feces can build up.
- Even with proper filtration, you’ll need to regularly change your turtle’s water. When you change the water, make sure that the filter is not clogged. If you see waste or old food lingering in the filter, it may cause a clog that prevents it from filtering the water properly. You can buy a dechlorinator or water conditioner at any pet store.
- 3 Clean your tank regularly. Remove everything from the tank including all of its basking spots and empty the water. Wash everything with warm water and anti-bacterial soap. Let rocks sit in warm water and soap. Wash the soap out thoroughly. Let the tank sit until it is dry.
- How often a clean is necessary will depend on how messy your turtle is. It is generally a good idea to do this at least twice a month. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the tank.
- 4 Provide a balanced diet for your turtle. A proper diet for Red Eared Sliders and similar species should have the following proportions: Vegetables and water plants 50%; Commercial foods 25%; Live protein 25%. A turtle under a year old should be fed every day. A turtle over a year old should be fed every other day as to prevent them from getting overweight.
- An example of vegetation for your turtle are aquatic plants like duckweed, azolla, and water lettuce. They also enjoy fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrots, apples, and leafy greens like romaine lettuce.
- For protein, your turtle can eat cooked chicken, turkey, or raw beef. If you want to feed your animal live protein, mealworms, snails, wax worms, beetle larvae, or even small goldfish are great.
- There are also commercially available diets, such as pellets, that can provide complete nutrition for turtles. Make sure that you read the ingredients carefully and that proportions of protein and vegetable based matter are at proper ratios.
- 5 Make sure your turtle has proper lighting. If your turtle does not have regular access to sunlight, you will need to provide UV light bulbs for basking. Turtles in the wild are exposed to sunlight every day and the nutrients they provide are essentially for healthy growth and development. The amount of light it needs will be based on the species with land turtles usually requiring more.
- Keep in mind that that UV cannot penetrate glass and will need to above or in the enclosure.
- Change out your turtle’s UV bulb every 6 months. Over time the bulb will stop emitting enough UV light.
- 6 Maintain proper water temperatures. You will need a water heater. Turtles are cold-blooded animals and thus rely on external heat to warm up their bodies. If the temps get too high or too low it can turn fatal. The water should be 80 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit ( 26.5 – 27.5 Celsius) for a hatchling or a sick turtle, and 77 – 80 degrees F (25.5 – 26.5 C) for a healthy turtle over a year old.
- The basking (dry land) area should be 10 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) warmer than the water to entice the turtle to warm up by basking.
- 7 Look for signs of sickness in your turtle. Even if you do your best to keep your turtle healthy, there are many diseases that can commonly affect the health of your pet. However, most are treatable if you look for certain telltale signs, you can start quickly getting your pet better.
- Vitamin A deficiency. This occurs when your turtle is not getting a proper diet and manifests as lack of appetite, swelling of eyelids, swelling of ears, and persistent respiratory difficulties. This can also affect the buoyancy of your turtle when it’s swimming. You can correct this by making sure your turtle has a balanced diet.
- Respiratory infections. The most common signs of this are wheezing, difficulty breathing, bubbles and mucus in their nose, and frequent coughing. If you see these symptoms, take your turtle to the vet who will give them an x-ray and determine the proper antibiotic course. The most common cause of these issues are improper basking and water temperatures or an exposure to drafty conditions.
- Shell rot. This is a fungal condition to the shell. The symptoms include: white, slimy, smelly appearance of the shell and sometimes puss. The symptoms may also include small abrasions on the turtle’s shell. If you see any of these signs, take your turtle to the vet who will prescribe antibiotics.
- Parasites. These are the most common cause of illness. The most common parasites for turtles are: pinworms, roundworms, and hookworms. The signs include lack of appetite, undigested food in stool, weight loss and sometimes spit up of food. Your vet will ask you obtain a stool sample to test for parasites and give a medication targeted to rid the turtle of the specific parasite.
- Find a good vet that specializes in herpetology. Not all vets will deal with exotic animals. Make sure that whatever vet you choose has a specialty in herpetology and can help your turtle. Look online for a good local herp vet with strong reviews and demonstrated speciality background. Call local vet offices to see if they can treat turtles, or if they know a good colleague that can.
- 1 Decide the type of turtle you want. There are different types of turtles available for purchase. These can present different difficulties in care, cost differences, and differences in how tame or docile the animal is.
- Painted turtles are a great aquatic species for beginners. This is a colorful variety of turtle, readily available, easy to care for and great for a new turtle owner. They stay small, only 4 to 5 inches, and are active. They’re also commonly bred in captivity and years of breeding has created a docile and tame animal. They are recognizable for their colorful markings that make them appear “painted,” hence the name.
- Common Musk Turtles. These are a small, relatively hearty, aquatic turtle. They can rest comfortably in a small tank (as small as 30 gallons) but do not generally like to be handled.
- Slider turtles. There are many varieties of sliders with two being the most common — the red eared and yellow bellied slider. They stay under 11 inches and are easy to care for. They also have tame and docile personalities.
- Diamondback Terrapin. This is another type of turtle commonly available in pet stores and amongst breeders. While these turtles stay small (9 inches at the most) and are friendly, they require a little more expertise than either painted turtles or sliders. They prefer brackish water (a slightly salted water) and thus will require more work.
- Tortoises are a type of land turtle. They can live up to 100 years, so they’re a long-term commitment.
- 2 Find a reputable turtle breeder or seller. Many pet stores will sell a variety of turtles. However, you will want to know the provenance of your turtle before bringing it home. This can include whether it was captive bred or caught from the wild. In addition to this you will want to make sure that the turtle is being kept in a proper habitat and appears alert and healthy.
- Ask for proof that the turtle was captive bred. If the breeder cannot provide this, chances are the turtle was born in the wild. This can have detrimental effects on wild turtle populations and also make your turtle more prone to stress, which is potentially detrimental to the animal’s health.
- 3 Make sure you choose a healthy turtle. Since many turtles can be bred in poor conditions or undergo the stresses of being captured from the wild, it is important to choose a healthy looking turtle. The turtle should be alert, free of any parasites, and relatively active.
- Check the enclosure. The water should be clean, food should be available and adequate light provided. If any of these are missing, it can increase the likelihood you bring home a sick turtle.
- 4 Make sure you are prepared for the turtle at home. Besides all of the commitment requirements, make sure that your turtle’s habitat is ready to go before you pick the turtle up. This way they can start acclimating to their new life right away.
- 5 Always practice safe handling. Whether you are the primary caregiver, or a child is regularly handling the turtle, be cognizant of potential diseases they may carry. Turtles can carry salmonella or other infectious diseases. This can also be contracted by contact with their enclosure.
- Elderly people, children and infants are particularly susceptible to salmonella. Even if they are not directly interacting with the turtle or its environment, you will want to wash your hands thoroughly before coming in contact with at risk individuals.
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- Question What kind of light do I need for an aquatic turtle? Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering experiemces, reptiles, supplies and plants. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. You’ll need a high-quality UV light to keep your aquatic turtle healthy. Place the light 12 inches above the basking area in your turtle’s habitat. Make sure you switch the bulb out every 6 months since UV lights become less effective over time.
- Question How long can turtles stay on land? Turtles can stay on land (or without water) up to two days. But they usually like to have food inside the water. They shift from water to land and vice versa several times for basking and swimming, so it is best to provide an environment convenient for them.
- Question How do I clean the turtle’s shell? A regular toothbrush is very helpful to clean the shell, just scrub gently.
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- If your turtle is ever on its back, ensure that you flip it immediately. Turtles often are unable to turn themselves back over and will drown if they are unable to move themselves to get air.
- Remember – once a turtle displays symptoms of an illness than it is often too late. Turtles hide illnesses very well, so once they are showing symptoms than it means the illness has progressed and they need medical attention ASAP!
- Make sure your turtle’s filter is off while it’s eating, otherwise it can’t catch the food.
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- Do not feed the turtle red ants, mealworms or spinach.
- Don’t put stones or other ornaments with sharp or ragged edges in your turtle’s tank, they may hurt it.
- Don’t turn your turtle upside down in water, it might not be able to breathe.
Advertisement Article Summary X To keep a turtle healthy, make sure it’s eating about 50 percent vegetables and water plants, 25 percent live protein, and 25 percent commercial foods so it’s getting all of the nutrients it needs. You should also change out the water in your turtle’s tank regularly so it doesn’t get dirty, and use a canister filter to help keep the water clean.