There are legends that the turtle is almost the longest-living animal in captivity. In fact, this is not the case. If you're wondering how old your turtle is, take a closer look at it. Although for the uninitiated, one turtle is like another, like two peas in a pod, even a layman can determine both sex and age.
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To determine the age of your turtle, count the rings around the edge of the shell. In a young animal, which is under two years old, two or three rings are formed on the shell every six months. Then one ring appears every year.
With age, the growth of the turtle slows down. While the growth is intensive, the areas of the carapace between the scutes are light, very bright. Turtle shell darkens with age. The shell of a sexually mature turtle becomes elongated; in young turtles, the shell is round. The European land tortoise reaches sexual maturity by 3-5 years, the Central Asian later: males by 5-6 years, females by 10-14.
You can try to determine the age of the turtle by the size of the shell. So the land Central Asian tortoise at 1 year old has a shell size of 5 cm, at 2 years old - 6 cm, at 3 years old - 8 cm, at 4 years old - 9-10 cm, at 5 years old - 11-12 cm, at 6 years old - about 14 cm.
The sizes of red-eared turtles differ. Females at 1 year old have a shell length of about 6 cm. At 2 years old - 9 cm, at 3 years old - 14 cm, at 4 years old - 16 cm, at 5 years old - 18 cm, at 6 years old about 20 cm. 2-4 cm less.
The maximum lifespan of red-eared aquatic turtles in captivity is 35-50 years. Moreover, they can reach a size of 28-30 cm. Land turtles live up to 30 years.
It is possible to determine the sex of a turtle only at the age of 6-8 years. This is best done in comparison to other turtles.
In males, the lower part of the shell, the plastron, is somewhat concave closer to the tail. This is necessary to make it easier for males to be on top during mating. The lower end of the plastron is rounded in females, and in males it has the shape of the letter V.
Male land turtles have longer claws and femoral spurs. The cloaca in females is located closer to the tail; moreover, in females, as a rule, the hole in the plastron is wider than in males.
Pay attention to your turtle's behavior. Males are more active, even aggressive. They attack other turtles, try to climb from above or turn over. If your turtle does the characteristic head-bobbing up and down, then you most likely have a male.