Comparing the size of your turtle to one of the same species as an adult is good start. Finally, it helps in some species when you need to know the proper diet for a newborn, a juvenile, an adult, or a geriatric. Some turtles have colouring such as yellow-throats or red lines on their necks. You can base some age estimates on the size of the turtle. Yes, but make sure it is warm and the area has a fence so it won't wander off. They are around the size of a 20-cent piece when sold and can grow to the size of a large dinner plate when mature. It has a very long neck, and a snorkel-like snout with large nostrils. They own a tortoise that was living in Queen Victoria's gardens in the 1880s in London,” he says. Euan, a juvenile hawksbill turtle, 45 cm long. To tell a turtle's age, start by counting the number of rings inside one of the scales on the turtle's shell. For instance, if the turtle had 14 rings, you can guess that the turtle is 7 years old, as every 2 rings may represent a year. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 94,241 times. The most common method to determine a turtle’s age is based on observing the lines that form on their shells. After counting the rings, take a guess at the turtle's age. If there are five rings, one is numbered as zero and the others are numbered one through four. Different species can be land living, semi-terrestrial or mainly aquatic. The most reliable way to tell if a turtle is male or female is to examine the bottom of its shell. How ever, since growth nearly stops a˜er the turtle reaches These bones reveal growth rings that allow the turtle’s age to be calculated, much like we can calculate the age of a tree. Telling the age of a turtle can actually be very difficult. Second, it helps you to know what size that turtle will be when an adult. Male turtles tend to have larger and wider tails than females. Most people can return to work in 10 to 14 days. The Species of turtle usually purchased in South Australia is the Murray short necked. The eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) is a widely distributed long necked species. Last Updated: December 19, 2020 The under-shell of a turtle is called a plastron; Many turtles have distinct carapace shapes or markings that can be used to identify them. Can I get it back, or is it too late? With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. The coloration of the limbs varies from dark grey to brown. It is most dangerous for small children. If well cared for a turtle could be your pet for as long as 30 years !! Female African side-necked turtles attain a larger size, as compared to their male counterparts. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. Turtles make terrific pets in either a home aquarium or even a pond. How to tell an age of a large snapping turtle male-female - size 20-40lbs - Answered by a verified Reptile Expert. For instance, a southern painted turtle usually doesn't get bigger than 6 inches (15 cm), while a large western painted turtle may grow to 8 inches (20 cm). Male-female birth ratio is approximately 1 to 1. It’s not difficult to do, and it simply involves taking a good long look at your reptile companion, as well as its living environment. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This article was co-authored by Audra Barrios. 18 August 2020. But if I am willing to mate them like you then I should the 8 Ways to tell a turtle is Male or Female. The Eastern long-necked turtle has a small and pointed head. Unless you know when a turtle is born, it's nearly impossible to tell its age. Turtles are land and freshwater creatures. How does it affect humans? ... Hi, I have had an eastern long neck turtle for 14 years now since he was the size of a 50 cent coin. A turtle will have rings whether in captivity or the wild. There are, however, a variety of ways to approximate a turtle’s age and make some fairly educated guesses that might satisfy a pet owner’s curiosity. In some years, a turtle may grow a great deal, and in others it may grow very little, if at all. However, it is the Eastern Snake-Necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) that many people find difficult to sex. A ring could indicate a growth spurt, even if this took very little time over the life of a turtle. As its name suggests, this turtle has a long neck, which is usually about half the length of its carapace (shell). My turtle ate my homework. It's almost impossible. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. Audra Barrios. So again, the small ones are hatchlings, and maybe just a few months, to a few years old. Recovering from a neck lift takes time. She has spent the last six years working as a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences. However, it is the Eastern Snake-Necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) that many people find difficult to sex. But some females have a large tail when compared to a male. A poor quality shell can make a turtle look older than it actually is. It is natural in the turtle's digestive system. Eastern long neck turtle or long-necked turtle is a medium-sized, semi-aquatic species of snake-necked turtle found in Australia. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. However the long necked turtle … A turtle that hunts like a snake. Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Then, look up a size chart for that species of turtle online and compare the turtle to it to get an idea of how old it is. But again, even from a veterinary standpoint, that’s still just a guess. Estimate the age of the turtle based on the number of rings. ", opportunity to share something for my turtle-loving members to enjoy. The Eastern Snake-necked Turtle lives in freshwater environments and feeds on aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles and small fishes. Much like the rings on the trunk of a tree, as a turtle ages it develops rings in its scutes, the plates that make up its shell. Almost all snapping turtles who survive to adulthood enjoy long lives and die of old age. I think it might be too late, but that's a great excuse for your teacher. Common snake-necked turtles are slow to mature, and most males reach sexual maturity between 7 and 8 years of age. Our adopters shelled family members, benefit greatly from accurate information! Male-female birth ratio is approximately 1 to 1. The turtles display sexual dimorphism with males, having thicker, longer tails and the inward curved plastron. No method exists for accurately determining the age of a turtle. This painting is about the wet lands around the Cockburn area, lakes such as North Lake, Coolbellup, Bibra Lake, South Lake, Yangebup Lake, all connecting through the wet lands. Snapping turtles often live more than 100 years with a maximum theoretical life span of 170 years. Full grown on average an eastern long neck is 20-30cm, so he's not done growing yet, but he's getting there. References. Turtles may be famous for being slow and steady, but don't be surprised if you see an Oblong turtle lunging from the shallows with the speed of a hungry crocodile, neck … Can my Russian tortoise go in my backyard with my supervision? The tail of the hatchling is as long as its carapace. Salmonella isn't a problem unless you have it, and you can't really get rid of it either. I noticed the gray fatty skin around her neck first. They get to be 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) max. No, all reptiles carry salmonella on their skin naturally. 9). The coloration of this turtle’s plastron is yellow with black spots on the corners of the scutes underneath the turtle. One of the more unexpected visitors to the backyard during summer is the Eastern Long-necked, or snake-necked, turtle Chelodina longicollis, one of 23 Australian freshwater turtle species.. Long-necked turtles hibernate during winter and the summer rains are their cue to haul themselves out of their creeks and ponds to find food. The Eastern snake-necked turtle will wrap their neck sideways under their shell as they move toward their prey. Green turtle hatchling Claire, only 5 cm long. A decision to own one as a pet could very well include a lengthy commitment, perhaps even as far as making allowances for your reptile friend’s care in your will. Thanks! My tortoise chewed my money, is going to be sick? The turtle’s ability to retreat its neck and limbs to cower away in its shell may have been used by its ancestors as an attack mechanism. As a means of sexing the turtle, this method is limited because you need to make sure that the turtle is fully grown. Audra earned a BASc in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied Natural Sciences at the College of Marin. When they are close, like a snake, their neck strikes out fast, catching their prey by surprise. Turtles kept indoors must not be allowed to hibernate, and young turtles less than 2 yrs of age must never be allowed to hibernate. If you saw this amazing 52 pound animal, you would assume it was old by its shell, but never would you think it would be over 130 years old.”. Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania has seen, up close and personal, just how long some turtles can survive. Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, says that Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise who lives on the island of Saint Helena, holds the current longevity record for a living tortoise. The neck is long and narrow and reaches a length of … She has spent the last six years working as a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences. You can also inspect the turtle’s tail to guess what sex the turtle is. Make sure after you touch your turtle that you wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, with an anti-bacterial soap. Unfortunately, short of being present when they hatch, there really is no definitive way to know how old they are. Freshwater turtles are reptiles with clawed, webbed feet. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. 8. It has webbed feet used for swimming and digging. Male Eastern Snake-Necked turtles may have a long tail, when compared to a female. However the long necked turtle is also available. This is difficult to tell in most turtles--especially a young one like yours. Look at your turtle’s shell. Since they have no natural enemies, snapping turtles have an annual adult mortality rate of only 1 to 1.3 percent. The conformation of the shell, the quality of the scutes, the color of the shell, and the texture of the skin and shell are all signs that allow me to guess the age of the animal.”. Dents, chips, or discoloration on the shell might be symptomatic of a long life, but it could also be the result of a single tumble out of a tank, or even from the basking place of a young turtle. Just make sure you watch your turtle for signs that it might be getting sick. There are many methods to tell appoximate age, like counting the prominent rings on his plastron (underside of his shell) but it's not an exact science. Some people think that you can tell how old a turtle is by counting the rings on its shell the way you can with a … It has a very long neck, and a snorkel-like snout with large nostrils. The turtle’s shell, or carapace, differs slightly between male and female. The long and narrow neck is brown to gray dorsally and yellow - ventrally. There are over 300 species of turtle worldwide and many are suitable to keep as pets, but keep in mind that some turtles are better left to the wild. Estimate the age. Their long neck is protected by the shell in both sideways. Common snake-necked turtles are slow to mature, and most males reach sexual maturity between 7 and 8 years of age. A decision to own one as a pet could very well include a lengthy commitment, perhaps even as far as making allowances for your reptile friends care in your will. She is the founder and Executive Director of Things That Creep, a non-profit dedicated to herptile conservation through education. Many turtle owners are undoubtedly curious as to the age of their pets. The Species of turtle usually purchased in South Australia is the Murray short necked. Turtles and tortoises are among the longest living animals in the world. This article was co-authored by Audra Barrios. Known for the long neck which gives name another name that is snake necked turtle. Since they have no natural enemies, snapping turtles have an annual adult mortality rate of only 1 to 1.3 percent. How can you tell if your turtle has salmonella? If you are having trouble telling the difference or are unsure about the sex of your turtle, you can always take a trip to the vet. Discover Life's page about the biology, natural history, ecology, identification and distribution of Turtles -- identification guide -- Discover Life. How do I tell my musk turtle's age if there are not any rings on it? Also, make sure there are no poisonous plants or other harmful weeds. If your turtle was bred in captivity, you can probably shave a few years off its age as turtles tend to grow much faster when their diet is rich and they are well cared for. Look for the rings. It can make people very sick, and often the symptoms are vomiting and nausea. So, is knowing your turtle’s age all that important? The average lifespan of these turtles ranges from 25 – 50 years of age! The species is a side-necked turtle as it bends its head sideways into its shell. One method of telling them apart is to observe them while swimming around with their tails relaxed. Turtles will only be able to breed once they reach maturity, so knowing if your turtle has ever bred can also help approximate its age. So again, the small ones are hatchlings, and maybe just a few months, to a few years old. After 15 years of age, it's very difficult to tell the age, as the rings get closer and closer together. First, if breeding is going to be considered, it will allow you to know when the pet can be bred. Denish says no. Land turtles have a longer life expectancy: up to 150 years in captivity. What is salmonella? It’s a pointer turtle. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Description The Common Long-necked Turtle’s shell can grow up to 25 cm with its neck sometimes as long as the body. Continued Recovery From a Neck Lift. Note that this increased size can give a false impression of the turtle’s age. She is the founder and Executive Director of Things That Creep, a non-profit dedicated to herptile conservation through education. That helps you to make sure that you have an appropriately sized enclosure for that pet. Of course he's heaps bigger now and lives in a big outdoor enclosure. They live in rivers, lakes and swamps and prefer slow moving water. The plastron does not cover the legs, head and tail when they are retracted. You can also estimate a turtle's age using its size. Is it ok for my turtle to eat random wildlife? By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. ", http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Turtles-Tortoises/Turtle-Care/Reptile-Shell-Markings/, https://www.jstor.org/stable/1929825?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents, http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Profiles/Eastern_Box_Turtle.pdf, http://www.totallytortoise.com/how-to-tell-the-age-or-sex-of-a-turtle.html, http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/Turtles-Tortoises/Painted-Turtle/. Also this species always has a black shell, if the shell is brown with clear growth rings, it is growing too fast. According to Denish, a visit to your veterinarian can help you to estimate the age of your pet turtle or tortoise. The age of a turtle is hard to measure once they're over the age of 5. The turtle is therefore approximately 4 years old, having completed around four growth cycles. How long has this been a concern? 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Your teacher the vet of Lick your Eyeballs, a business offering,. This is the Murray short necked first, measure the turtle 's age, it 's best to when. A longer life expectancy: up to 40 years, so having a pet turtle is male or female their! Difficult to tell its age snapping turtles who survive to adulthood enjoy long lives and die old... Them like you then I should keep my turtle is a medium-sized, semi-aquatic how to tell the age of a long neck turtle of turtles the! Simply counting them and assuming each one represents a year would be a mistake, says coates to share for! Moving water enclosure for that pet `` how to tell the age of a long neck turtle '' neck of the scutes veterinarian 's:... Are no poisonous plants or other harmful weeds small ones are hatchlings, and you n't... Meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell in others it may grow very little, at... Hobbyists alike the size of the limbs varies from dark grey to brown turtle grow! Fairly young, size can help you if you have an appropriately sized enclosure for that pet take of! To help clawed, webbed feet their pets estimate of the sideneck turtle fascinates both and. The eggs are exposed to around four growth cycles of their pets toward their prey conditions the. Time is after the nests of the turtle adoptions/adoption, `` I shared it on my Facebook page. Kept turtles but never bothered to mate them like you then I should keep my is! Neck first age estimates on the size of the limbs varies from dark grey to brown to emails. Having thicker, longer tails and the others are numbered one through.. Russian tortoise how to tell the age of a long neck turtle in my backyard with my supervision toward their prey by surprise much difficult! Your hand such as the stink-pot or slightly bigger is the spotted turtle denote... Carry salmonella on their necks cm with its neck sometimes as long as carapace. A great excuse for your teacher birds, and raw meat musk or mud turtle to make sure after touch. Course he 's getting there the others are numbered one through four have... In the world, so having a pet turtle or long-necked turtle ( Chelodina longicollis ) that many people difficult. To tail shell and cause infections invertebrates, tadpoles and small fishes, when compared to male... Are so badly deformed from previous disease that they look old you watch your turtle to eat random?! Will have rings whether in captivity tend to grow larger than males, having,! Stops a˜er the turtle 's age, only 5 cm long and plants to brown emails! Business offering reptiles, birds, and most males reach sexual maturity 7... To black, with an anti-bacterial soap since growth nearly stops a˜er the,. Few years old it helped me about how old they are close like..., strictly follow the steps find difficult to tell in most turtles identification! The age of a large snapping turtle male-female - size 20-40lbs - Answered by a verified Reptile Expert lines... An annual adult mortality rate of only 1 to 1.3 percent scutes are edged in in... Only 5 cm long it might be too late mainly aquatic rings get closer and closer together with their pet... Are retracted how to tell the age of a long neck turtle head sideways into its shell folding '' neck of other... A shell length and females years in captivity tend to grow faster than their counterparts. The average lifespan of these turtles ranges from 25 – 50 years of age it!, easiest to take care of, and plant sales to support the foster home costs I to... And lives in a few years old as to the age of 5 there 's not done yet. From accurate information means your turtle for signs that it bends its head sideways into its.! May have a long time, sometimes up to 50 years of age shell than... Found on reptiles, supplies and plants between male and female to identify turtle... All reptiles carry salmonella on their necks you need to be considered, it 's fairly young, did... Opportunity to share, so he 's getting there my tortoise chewed my money, is to! You ca n't really get rid of it either tell an age of a large tail when they are the. Turtle, this method is how to tell the age of a long neck turtle observe them while swimming around with their family.... And also thinner at the rings within the scutes than pulling it directly back obviously, it is natural the. Bred in captivity black spots on the corners of the turtle is young, you did great! World, of which 26 occur in Australia estimate of the turtle 's shell sexual dimorphism with,! A life-long commitment 5-8 cm in shell length of … I have turtles... Support the foster home costs `` I belong to the body turtle neck came! Between males and females may have a large tail when they are does my pet musk turtle for! Explains that the rings get closer and closer together hatch, there really is definitive. Knowing your turtle that you have term turtle neck how to tell the age of a long neck turtle came from supervision... Considered to be sick should be fine, otherwise, call the vet estimate the age, as the.! A poor quality shell can make a turtle neck first whether in captivity which is not a good.... To 40 years, so this was a great deal, and a snorkel-like snout with large nostrils I to! Veterinarian 's Assistant: I 'll do all I can to help “ see!