Turtle shell. The structure of the tortoiseshell
In ancient times, there was a belief thatplanet Earth rested on the shell of a giant turtle. In Chinese mythology, this reptile was one of the sacred animals. Adherents of esotericism used tortoises shell for predictions. Apparently, the number of plates that are located on the edge of the "turtle house" contributed to this. The Chinese people portrayed this animal on imperial banners, believing that the turtle protects itself from fire and war.
In Japan, this mysterious creature was considered a symbollongevity, wisdom and immortality. Eastern physicians tried to make a tortoise shell a miracle drug that could slow the aging of the human body. In India, people drew attention to the fact that the tortoise is prone to hide in a shell. This feature they identified with meditation and spirituality.
The Legend of the Turtle
Among the Mongolian people there is a legend that,that once the tortoise moved from north to south. On the way, she met a warrior who fired an arrow into it. The arrow pierced the tortoise shell, striking her to death.
From the side of the damaged shell there was a forest, and fromThe blood of a dying animal formed the sea - it was the northern side of the world. The flame that burst out last of the turtle's throat was called the southern side. According to legend, in the claws of an animal, clumps of earth were clamped, which subsequently formed the soil with the entire plant world. So, according to the myth, all sides of the world and the earth took place.
Scientists believe that turtles appeared on Earth200 million years ago. They have changed little since then. The only thing, some of them mastered the land, others - the sea depths and fresh water. The researchers suggest that the lifespan of a turtle on earth is over 200 years! About what age this amazing creature can be judged by the flaps on its shell.
The structure of the shell
The tortoise shell of the whole world consists of two shields: spinal and abdominal. They are interconnected. The shell has holes for the head, legs and tail. With the approaching danger, the turtle hides in its shelter.
In some species of this animal, the shell is soft,but it's pretty solid. Therefore, the terrible predator will not be able to gnaw it. The shell is a real protection for the turtle. After all, by nature it is awkward and sluggish, and the "house with itself" will always save and hide from ill-wishers.
Turtles are divided into sea, river and land. Scientists have about 230 species of these interesting creatures. They have among themselves some differences in color, size and structure of the body.
For example, land and river turtles are smaller in size than their marine counterparts. All reptiles are extremely thermophilic creatures. Their habitat is the tropics and subtropics.
Only in the very hot deserts of New Zealand andPacific coast of South America, travelers will not meet turtles. The terrestrial species lives almost in all corners of our planet. River turtles and sea are known in Russia.
The most beautiful representative of the tortoise world- Red-eared. It is a freshwater tortoise, which has a shell size of more than 25 centimeters. The beautiful reptile has been growing for many years. The shell of the red-bellied tortoise for 1.5 years is about 7.5 cm in diameter. Then it continues to grow more slowly, adding 1 cm per year. The shell of the turtle can reach a maximum length of 30 centimeters.
It itself comes from the southeastern part of the United States. Outwardly, this is a pretty creature. On either side of the head, the tortoise has scarlet spots, for which it was called "red-eared". Although she does not really have ears. It is interesting that the shell of red-bellied turtles is able to change color depending on their age and habitat. In young specimens, light shades predominate, in adults darker colors, up to black.
Content of the turtle
Russian lovers of the living corner are happyget this kind of turtle. It's not just the bright color of the reptile, but also its unpretentiousness. But there are some features that should be considered.
For example, mistakenly choose for the red-belliedturtle small terrarium. After all, a reptile will grow up and require more and more space. It is necessary to stock up to 100-150 liters of terrarium. It should provide for dry space, and the water level should exceed the size of the tortoise shell.
It is recommended to change water in the aquarium 1-2 times a week and keep the temperature at least + 20-26aboutC. If you neglect these rules, then after a while you can find on the carapace of an animal stain of unhealthy color. Experts advise putting an aquarium with a turtle in a sunny place, as a domestic pet likes to luxuriate in the warm rays.
Health turtle, including the state of itsshell, directly depends on nutrition. It must be balanced. On sale there is a considerable amount of fodder for turtles, but they do not take into account all mineral and vitamin supplements.
It will sooner or later affect the healthreptiles. Parallel to this, it can be found that the red-bellied turtle has a soft shell, which is not its natural feature. Supplement the diet can be finely chopped fresh fish. An excellent feed additive for turtles can serve as moths and earthworms.
Shell - indicator of health
Turtle shell often suffers from traumaticdamage. Especially to this are land reptiles. The cause may be a turtle falling from a height. Sometimes a turtle can accidentally step on or hold it in the doorway.
That is why the shell of the tortoisePeriodically inspect for cracks, scratches and other changes. If the owner has noticed stains on the shell of the turtle or a suspicious change in color, this may indicate the presence of a secondary bacterial and fungal microflora. Such lesions can lead to partial or complete destruction of the shell. With these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor!
Softening of the shell
Consider the reasons why the shellThe turtle becomes soft. If this is not due to a natural feature, then, most likely, the lack of calcium in the animal's body is so affected. This also indicates the failure to comply with the rules for keeping the turtle, the lack of ultraviolet rays and the lack of vitamin D.
If you notice, for example, that the red-belliedturtles soft shell, then hurry to the examination to the doctor. Only he will be able to say exactly what caused this phenomenon and what needs to be done. Often, the owners of reptiles notice spots on the shell of a tortoise in the form of algae. If they are weakly expressed and there are few of them, then there is nothing to worry about. In case the turtle is "overgrown" with such a pattern, attention should be paid to water pollution and lighting. White spots on the tortoise shell can signal the presence of fungus. Self-treatment of reptiles is not recommended. In any case, if spots are seen on the shell of the turtle, it is better to contact the herpetologist in time.
This reptile is considered the largest turtle inworld. The weight of her body varies up to 600 kilograms, and its length reaches up to 3 meters. Why does the tortoise attract attention to itself? The reptilian shell of this species consists of interconnected bone plates. But it is not connected with the skeleton. A distinctive feature of the shell of a leathery turtle is extremely dense skin! Scientists note that this reptile does not know how to pull its head into the shell because of the unusual structure of its body.
Another major species is known to science - the giantturtle. Sometimes it is called gigantic, or Seychellois. The reptile lives on the island of Aldabra. The turtle is interesting in its structure: it has rather powerful paws and a small head with respect to the body. Its shell is rather sloping and reaches 130 centimeters.
The musk-bug is the smallest in the world. Its habitats are water bodies of the USA and Canada. Weighs this creation of nature a bit more than 200 grams. The length of the turtle is about 8 centimeters, the shell reaches about 6-7 centimeters. As a protection, a reptile can exude a rather unpleasant odor due to the fluid that accumulates in it at the back of the shell. The turtle is omnivorous and unpretentious. In the diet of her nutrition includes a small fry, various aquatic vegetation.
An unusual structure among the turtles is the roofing. Her native land is India. The armor of this interesting turtle is about 40 cm long.
On the back of a reptile there is a keel. Especially striking is the rearward-directed tooth on the third vertebral shield. Coloring the roof bug is excellent!
The belly of a reptile is reddish-yellow, with distinct black spots. The head and back of the head are highlighted in bright red. The shell, bordered with a light yellow ribbon, plays with greenish-brown tinges.
Female turtles lay eggs in the sand or in decayed plants. The number of eggs can be from 7 to 100 pieces. Hatching out of them, small turtles hurry to the water, considering it to be their refuge.
But already on the way reptiles can serve as foodfor different predators: crabs and birds. They all want to taste turtle meat. However, reptiles can also eat in water. Simply, being in the water, the turtles move faster, and they have more chances of survival.