10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Turtles


You have just installed your lovely pet turtle in its paludarium. It may still be shy and hiding under its piece of driftwood, but in a while you’ll find it paddling happily in the warm water and hauling out now and then to warm up in the basking light. It’s a beautiful little animal with its shell and the spots of color on its green, snub-nosed face. Enjoy it, for if you are of a certain age, it will outlive you. If you are young, it will see you through high school, college, your first marriage, your second marriage, the births of your children and the births of their children. If it’s one of the musk or mud turtles, it won’t get much bigger than it is now. If it’s a painted slider, it’ll grow to a foot long, and you or your descendants will have to find a tank big enough to keep it happy. It may not love you — it’s a reptile — but it will grow used to you. It may or may not miss you when you are gone.

As you contemplate your pet, you may wonder how such an unusual creature came to be. Here are 10 things you may not know about turtles:

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