Types of turtles and their care

Turtles are fascinating animals and the variety of species is so wide that many have been domesticated, becoming favorite pets for many people. Therefore, it is convenient to know the types of turtles and what are the basic care they require to have them at home as pets.


Turtles are part of the order of reptiles and more importantly, they are one of the oldest animals on Earth today, since they have existed since the Triassic period. They are also known as turtles and are characterized by having a shell responsible for protecting their vital organs. As for the trunk, it is usually short and wide with short extremities.

Its kingdom is animalia and there are hundreds of species that can be basically classified into two types, taking into account the habitats in which they develop, whether they are mostly land or water.

land turtles

A gopher tortoise could easily live in your garden, as long as it has adequate access to water to drink and cool off, as well as food on appropriate days. In the following space, we will learn about some of the species of tortoises that could be good pets at home:

 – Testudo graeca

The spur-thighed tortoise can grow up to 18 centimeters. Its legs are yellow with black spots and it has a rounded vertebral plate.

The subspecies, Testudo graeca ibera, is larger than T. graeca, considering that the males of this species grow up to 18 centimeters and the females up to 30 centimeters.

 – Testudo Hermanni

The well-known Mediterranean tortoise, also belonging to the genus Testudo, is close to the Russian tortoise or Testudo horsfieldii. It can live for many years and has a fairly resistant shell, which shows a black color with yellow spots.

 – Chelus fimbriata

The Chelus genus currently has a single representative: the Matamata turtle. This specimen has a large head with a triangular and flattened shape; and a dark-colored shell that can measure up to 45 centimeters long.

 – Chelydra serpentine

This species is also known by the names of snapping turtle, serpentine turtle, lizard turtle, among others. It belongs to the Chelydridae family and can grow between 23 and 49 centimeters in length.

aquatic turtles

A freshwater turtle is usually more convenient to have as a pet inside the house, since a habitat can be created by controlling humidity and temperature, in addition to, of course, the parameters of the water so that it is healthy and safe at all times.

 – Trachemys scripta

This family of turtles includes the T. scripta scripta or yellow-eared slider and the Trachemys scripta elegans or red-eared slider. Both are popular as pets and are omnivores.


 – Graptemys pseudogeographica

The false map turtle is endemic to the United States and quite common as a pet. Its shell features a row of low-cut spines and is dark in color.

 – Emys orbicularis

Also known as the European pond turtle, this specimen can grow between 12 and 38 centimeters in length, presenting a green and yellow shell.

 – Macrochelys temminckii

The name of caiman turtle can sound scary and it is one of the largest freshwater species in the world, being able to grow up to 80 centimeters in length and 110 kilos.

 – Mauremys leprosa

For many, the leprosy pond turtle is a nice little turtle to have at home. It normally lives in rivers and swamps and follows an omnivorous diet.

 – Chelonia mydas

Although it cannot be considered a pet as such due to its swimming space requirements, the green sea turtle is worthy of admiration, considering that the largest specimen weighed 395 kilograms.


Turtle care as a pet

In general, domestic turtles are an alternative as a pet if you prefer a calm animal, but one that is good company and does not require as much space as a cat or a dog, for example.

However, although they may seem like simple animals to care for, turtles have special requirements that you must know and guarantee when adopting one. Next, we will indicate several guidelines to follow, to provide your turtle with a healthy, cheerful and happy life:


 – Habitat

An aquarium is a good place to start if you want to make a suitable habitat for your new turtle. This must be divided into at least two zones: a wet one, where the animal can swim and cool off, and a dry one, where it can rest and receive sunlight. If the latter is not possible, you can install special UV lamps together with a warm light bulb, to provide the necessary light.

The water, for its part, must have its respective filter and be free of chlorine. For this you can apply special treatments and do tests that allow you to check its parameters.

In addition, if you prefer, you can buy turtle tanks previously prepared with everything you need for your new pet, whether they are ramps, division of zones or accessories for their food.

 – Food

Baby turtles are generally carnivorous, being able to feed them with pieces of meat and chicken if they are from land or dehydrated shrimp if they are from water. As they grow, they will become omnivorous, being able to add vegetables to their diet.

In addition to this, it is important to respect the feeding cycles: when your turtle is a baby, you should feed it once a day. When he is young, every other day and when he reaches adulthood, he will eat about three times a week.

However, do not overlook that these indications should be consulted with the veterinarian, so that he can tell you if they are suitable for the species you have in particular.


Having a turtle as a pet can be fun, however, you have to consider how delicate some species can be and the needs of each animal, since not all of them are easy to care for.

On the other hand, and considering the technological influence of today, with respect to the Nintendo 2DS, the opinions consider games such as: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Save The Turtles and Franklin’s Great Adventures, as good options if you prefer to interact with these animals of a different way taking advantage of the virtual alternative.


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