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If you’re thinking of getting a Red-eared slider turtle, then you should know some basic information about it. One of the important things you should consider is the lifespan of red-eared sliders and this article will tell you all about this.
The Red-eared slider is a turtle species native to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. These turtles might be found in other places around the globe as well, but these three countries hold the majority of the population. Depending on their living conditions and the care they receive, they can live up to 70 years, and this considerable lifespan makes them very popular as pets.
Red-eared Slider Turtle Details
The Trachemys scripta elegans, also known as the Red-eared slider, has gotten its name from two aspects that define it. First off, its ability to slide rapidly into the water when it feels threatened. The second part of the name comes from its marks behind the eyes, which look like a pair of red ears. Some people also call this species the Troost’s turtle or the Red-eared terrapin.
This species is mostly green with yellow stripes that are irregular all around its body, even on the carapace. The female turtles will attain a length of 10 to 12 inches, while the males will only grow up to about 8 to 10 inches. The main source of food for this turtle in the wild are aquatic plants, tadpoles, carrion, and even some types of fish. In captivity, you can also diversify the diet with different aquatic insects, wax worms, and even crickets.
Lifespan in its Natural Habitat
A female Red-eared slider will usually be able to lay about 20 eggs in one go, but due to the high number of natural predators, not a lot of these eggs will become adult turtles. It will take anywhere between 60 and 80 days for the eggs to hatch, which happens somewhere around the late summer or early fall. As soon as the babies get out of their shells and into the real world, they will be faced with different types of predators. Even if they escape all of the predators, they will still be susceptible to different types of diseases because of their weak immune systems.
This will cause most of them to perish within the first year or two of life. The first two years will basically determine their fate, as from the third year, their life expectancy will increase considerably. Their easiest way of defending themselves from predators is by simply sliding into the water at the first sign of threat. This is usually what keeps them alive and away from most of their predators.
Lifespan in Captivity
Some important factors like basic health care and a balanced and healthy diet will contribute to prolonging the life expectancy of this creature in captivity. Although there are a few owners complaining that a pet slider only got to live for a few months as a pet in an aquarium, most specimens of this species will get to celebrate their 20th birthday in captivity. It will usually come to some sort of negligence of the owner when these turtles don’t make it to a decent age. Take diet, for example. These creatures really like to eat meat and other products that are rich in protein. Even though they like these foods, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t diversify its diet. Eating only high-protein foods will cause rapid growth, a pyramided shell, but eventually, it will also prove to be lethal, due to the damage this bad eating will do to the animal’s kidneys and liver. This is why you should make sure you know a decent amount of information about this species and caring for it properly before actually buying a Red-eared slider.
Aside from its diet, you won’t have to do a lot for this pet. The Red-eared sliders are considered the most invasive species of turtle in the world and they will easily adapt to any type of environment.