Turtle, Tortoise, Reptile

We see giant tortoises in the zoo and we know that a lot of people keep tortoises as pets, even the larger breeds. When we hear about the background or tortoises, we look to realize that these are incredibly ancient animals which have existed long before the humans that keep them captive and will probably be here long after we’re gone. This detail makes the tortoise such a fascinating animal to research and observe. Today, we understand that they feel at home both on land and in water, for the most part. We know what they look like: stubby legs, slow-moving, hard shell, etc.. But what have tortoises really been through in their millions of years in existence? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Let’s begin at the beginning. During the times of New Smyrna Beach Wildlife Removal, tortoises were one of the species that partially made their way from the water and went back and forth between land and sea throughout their development. Exclusively marine tortoises went extinct about 200 million years ago but the traces of turtles as we understand it remain. From here on out, the body remains largely unchanged.
Although the growth of the turtle can be an easy one to follow, unlike the snake’s for instance, there are still missing links and the expected gigantism of most prehistoric animals during the mesozoic and cenozoic eras. Can you imagine a giant tortoise roaming around, eating both giant plants? Paleontologists can’t seem to pinpoint the precise prehistoric family that modern turtles evolved from, but they can say with confidence that it wasn’t the placodonts, as was previously believed.
In Hinduism, Vishnu is half-man, half-tortoise and sat at the bottom of the sea floor after a great mythical flood. In Ancient China, turtle shells were used to make their predictions.
Today, it is possible to find tortoises living in different parts of the world, growing to various sizes and showing different colors and patterns. The Galapagos Islands are home to giant tortoises and are said to have arrived there about 3 million years ago. One of the most impressive things about these turtles is their capability to survive without water or food for up to a year. Unfortunately, this could not save most the population from near extinction. Whalers and buccaneers stored them as food on long voyages, and they have been used for their oil to light bulbs. Today, only about 25,000 wild tortoises live on the islands. Luckily, there are conservation efforts to preserve these herbivores from human intervention and other factors that have added to their decline.
In the U.S. individuals are generally fond of tortoises. Many see them as a the perfect pet since they’re relatively low maintenance. They hibernate in the winter until about April, eat a regular and simple diet, and don’t really need any training or walking. Caring for a tortoise is usually emphasized by having the right environment and diet. It’s been observed that they enjoy human contact, though they’re not very social animals. If they’re kept with other tortoises, they can get competitive but not with any significant injuries. They like to burrow and will try to dig beneath any walls or fences so make certain to secure any enclosure.
Find a Tortoise for Sale
You can find a tortoise available just about anywhere these days. You will find popular tortoises, such as the Russian Tortoise and the Red Footed Tortoise, available in exotic pet shops and can also be found online. Before buying a tortoise, be sure to research the breed and its specific needs about lighting, temperature, and habitat. Knowing the evolution and history of tortoises, doesn’t mean you know everything about modern tortoises. Educate yourself about how to care for a tortoise properly so that you can make sure you’re ready to handle the responsibility that comes with owning this ancient animal.


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