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Tortoise – delightful creatures to make as pets

By Annphilip Subscribe to RSS | February 16th 2012 | Views:

Whenever we think about pets the first image that comes into our mind is dog or cat. Nowadays tortoise is a quite popular pet. The huge size and dietary habits of a tortoise makes it difficult to keep it for a long time. Still people enjoy the companionship of a tortoise.

It’s quite interesting to see the way a tortoise protect itself from its predators. Nothing complicated, it will just withdraw its neck into the shell. The hard outer shell and its ability to withdraw the neck save the tortoise from its enemies.

Tortoise belonging to the family Chelonian is considered as one of the oldest creatures on the earth. They are cold blooded reptiles and they warm their body by taking heat from the surroundings. The top hard cover of a tortoise is called carapace and the bottom part is known as the plastron. The outer shell is made of 60 different bones. These creatures are known for its good eyesight and exceptional sense of smell.

There are nearly 40 different varieties of tortoises are found in the world. This includes Redfood tortoise, Yellowfoot tortoise, Russian tortoise, Hingeback Tortoise, Galapagos Tortoise and Desert Tortoise. Galapagos Tortoise can be seen in the Galapagos Islands of the Pacific Ocean. This is the largest tortoise in the world. This tortoise can weigh up to nearly 550 pound.

We can see tortoise in almost every continents except Antarctica. Most varieties of tortoise can be found in the North American jungles, while in Europe you can see nearly three species. Desert tortoises are mostly found in California, while Redfoot and Yellowfoot tortoises can be seen in South America. Hingeback, Leopard and Spurred tortoises are living in the African forests. The tortoise species found in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo is called Burmese Mountain Tortoise. The average life span of a tortoise is hundred years.

We can differentiate male and female tortoises by their tail. Male tortoises will have long tails when compared to female tortoises. During breeding season, the female tortoise digs deep burrows on the ground. It will lay around two to twelve eggs at a time and leave it in the burrows. It will take three to four months for the young ones to come out. Once they come out by breaking the shell, they will move into their mother’s burrow. There, the female tortoise takes care of its young ones for another two months, till they become mature.

Some tortoises are herbivores and some are omnivores. Most of the herbivores tortoise feeds on grasses, weeds, leafy plants, flowers and fruits. Meanwhile, carnivores’ tortoises eat plants, fruit and small insects. If they are grown as pets, they can be given dandelions, chicory, sow thistle, wild radish flowers etc. They can be also given mallow, mulberry and hibiscus flowers. To keep their bones strong tortoise needs good amount of calcium. Tortoise living on warmer regions depends on sunlight to get vitamins. Colder climate tortoise takes calcium by eating more calcium rich food.

Some of the species that can be grown as pets are mediterranean tortoises like Herman's tortoise, and the Spur-Thigh tortoise. Each tortoise will have its own likes and dislikes, just like a cat or dog. If we spend some time with them, we will come to know that they are not the dull boring creatures. Watching their growth and development from hatchling to mature tortoise is a fascinating experience. As an animal lover I like watching animal planet on my home television. When people grow tortoise as pets, they should protect their house in a well mannered way. Home alarms from providers like ADT Security Services can give proper security to our house and our pet’s house.

Annphilip - About Author:
Ann is interested in writing about pets. In the evenings she takes her pet dog along with her. Whenever she goes out Home alarm system from ADT Security Services protects her house .

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