If you stumbled upon this article, you are probably interested in learning some fun red-eared slider turtle facts. Or you want to buy a baby red-eared slider and now you need to clear some things out. Whatever the reason was, it doesn’t matter.
In this post, you’ll learn a lot about these amazing animals. Some of the facts may sound familiar, some not.
However, I am quite sure that you’ll learn new things that you’ve never heard before.
Sounds interesting? Let’s get started.
Here are the most fun facts about red-eared slider turtles.
They are the most common pet turtle
Did you know that the most common pet turtle is the red-eared slider turtle? It’s a very popular pet in the United States, and all across the world, as well. And the reason is simple.
They don’t require special conditions to be kept, they live long enough, and most importantly they make a great pet companion.
Red-eared slider turtles are invasive species
Red-eared sliders are one of the most invasive species of turtles. They even rank on the top 100 invasive species in the world. This has been a problem for a while in lots of countries all around the world, especially in Eastern Australia, and it’ll hardly get any better soon.
Irresponsible turtle owners are still releasing their pets into the wild, causing red-eared slider turtles to populate areas, that’s not native to them. Indigenous species often can’t compete against the red-eared slider turtles. They are more aggressive, they grow at faster rates, and give birth to more offspring. Red-eared slider turtles present a real threat to most of the other turtle species.
They are carriers of Salmonella
Since 1975, in the United States, any baby red-eared slider with a length less than a 4 inch is banned for selling. The main reason being, as you’ve read, a bacteria of the genus Salmonella. Turtles are just carriers of the bacteria, but they can infect humans. To stay on the safe, always wash your hands after handling a baby turtle, and keep the water in the tank as clean as possible.
Origin of their name
Red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) got their name from the red lines going through their ears and their astonishing ability to slide off surfaces into the water. They are called by other names, too, such as red eared terrapin, water slider turtle and pond sliders.
Red-eared slider turtles habitat
Red-eared sliders originally originate from the United States and Mexico, where they inhabit different areas of waters such as lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. Being a popular pet all around the world, the red-eared slider turtle is often released in the wild by its owners.
Known as invasive species, they can easily populate every habitat they have been released. Other than their native habitats, they are found in Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well.
Red-eared slider turtles are omnivores
As juveniles, red-eared slider turtles are omnivores, and their diet is mostly based on proteins. They eat fish, insects and small animals. As they grow older, these turtles become herbivores, eating mostly aquatic plants.
Red-eared slider turtles don’t hibernate, they brumate
This is one of those red-eared slider turtle facts that many people don’t know. It’s a common misconception that turtles hibernate, but that fact is far from the truth. The condition is called brumation.
What’s the difference between hibernation and brumation?
Animals that brumate occasionally wake during the winter for eating or drinking water, unlike animals that hibernate. Wild red-eared slider turtles start their brumation period in late autumn, and it usually ends when the temperatures are rising up. Red-eared slider turtles kept as pets should not brumate.
Male or female
Another interesting fact about red-eared slider turtles is the way genders form. The biggest factor that determines whether the baby turtle is a boy or a girl is the temperature within the nest. If the temperature during the process of incubation is between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius, the turtles will turn into males.
On the contrary, if the temperature is warmer, the turtles in the eggs will turn into females.
Pretty interesting, isn’t it?
They live a long life for a pet
Red-eared slider turtles live for a surprisingly long period. And many people buying these animals are not aware of that fact. They can live for approximately 20 years. That’s a pretty long commitment. Consider this fact if you are interested in pursuing a baby red-eared slider turtle.
And if you are interested to learn more about this, check out our article on that topic: How long do pet turtles live?
They can survive without food longer than you think
Red-eared slider turtles are tough animals. They can survive in different difficult situations. One of those is surviving without eating for a prolonged time. If you are eager to learn more on that subject check out: How long can a red-eared slider turtle survive without eating?
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you found some of these red-eared slider turtle facts amusing. These types of turtles are definitely a great pet to keep. Not only they are easy to maintain, but they show interesting behaviors that are interesting to observe.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s your favorite fact about red-eared sliders? Did you know all of them? Did you learn something new?
Let’s discuss this in the comment section.