Introduction to Tortoises

turtle on green grass

Tortoises belong to the reptile family, which is present on earth since prehistoric times. The main characteristic of tortoises is that they lay eggs. They are cold-blooded, and many experts believe that they evolved from amphibians. Their younglings hatch from eggs like all the variety of animals that are included in the reptile class.

Many of you are interested in tortoises and want to know about the different aspects of their life. Human beings know most of the things about tortoises, but a few elements are still hidden for most people. Learn more about the “hidden” details about tortoises. Like other species, the development of a tortoise is determined by the food. Like humans and other animals, they also need essential nutrients to grow and stay healthy. A tortoise eats a variety of different foods, they are not considered big hunters, but they can eat small insects, plants, grass, etc. They are considered sluggish and lethargic creatures.

 ortoises and turtles are often confused as the same, but there is one minor difference between them. Although they are closely related, yet they are not the same. Tortoises are land dwellers while turtles live in the water. The giant breed of tortoises is known as the Galapagos Islands. They are very heavy, can weigh from 500-600 pounds, and can hibernate for an extended period to avoid harsh weather conditions.

The tortoises are considered an excellent choice for a pet. They have a long life, and an interesting fact about them is that they can live up to 100 or even 150 years. So if you want a tortoise as your pet, it will demand a lifelong commitment even from your children or perhaps from your next generations as well.

Below are some factors that you must keep on mind before making a decision.

Two tortoises on the grass

1. Attitude and Nature of Tortoises

 Tortoises are usually obedient and shy by nature. They do not like much attention and can be aggressive at a few occasions, especially when two males are close in proximity. 

Sometimes they tend to become dominant, and one tortoise can attack the other and can result in a fight, which will ultimately hurt one of them. Another noteworthy thing is that tortoises are human-friendly. If you are keeping them, you will certainly need to take care of them for quite a long time. You have to feed them consistently and on time because a well-balanced diet is essential for growth.

2. Accommodation

A tortoise is a good pet, but you need to provide them with a proper place to live. Most of the tortoises should be kept outdoors, and enclosed space should be provided to them. You must also have a space reserved inside your home. The pet tortoises thrive in moderate temperature but if it is too cold outside you should consider another place for your pet. It is tough to keep a giant pet in-house so you must have a contingency plan to tackle such a situation as well.

As they require special care and attention as compared to other pets, so building outdoor shelter can also be challenging. The tortoises need to hibernate so you must make a strong enclosing that requires them special conditions and temperatures. Make sure no other pet like dog or cat has access to their personal space. Keep away all the dangerous things which can hurt tortoises during crawling. Keep all the harmful eating items and other poisonous foods away to avoid any accidental intake.

3. Feeding

Tortoises, as mentioned earlier, due to their large build and different diet requirement, present many challenges. The essential minerals and nutrients are necessary for their healthy development and growth. Almost all pet tortoises have similar food needs. However, it will also depend upon the age and environmental conditions from where they come from. So before getting one, you must also learn about its background and natural habitat, as this will help you to know their food habits.

The different kinds of land terrestrials have different hunger and thirst level and should be dealt with accordingly. All these considerations, including food, lodging, and other necessary things must be taken into account before you decide to buy one as a pet.

tortoise feeding

4. Lightening

Tortoises require light every day because it is essential to a tortoise Growth. You must make an arrangement to provide a light bulb containing Ultraviolet B ray light in its enclosing. These bulbs can be purchased from the pet stores. The second alternative is to let it outside for a few hours in the open and let them roam freely.

It provides light they need for their bones and shell. The Optimum temperature should be between 80-85 degrees. However, avoid direct sunlight.

 5. Temperature and Hibernation

As discussed earlier in the article, tortoises do hibernate. During their hibernation period, they remain empty stomach and live without any food. Usually, the hibernation period occurs in winter, and when the weather is warm again, they come back to their natural state. But many breeds do not hibernate at all while some hibernate excessively.

While buying a pet tortoise, you must do extensive research and even talk to the previous owner from whom you bought the pet so you may get a better idea of their breed.

Tortoise white background

Conclusion

Having a pet tortoise can be a fun and joyful hobby, but you have to understand that each breed of tortoises has their particular needs and requirements and you have to keep up with that. This hobby is exciting but it should not take all your time and resources

We hope this information has not only helped you but also provided the necessary details you needed before making a final choice. They are playful and loyal, and your tortoise will last forever in your heart.

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