How to Determine Turtle Age

Like other animals, turtles live to various ages.  There are different turtle age spans varying from  species or types.  In fact, turtles can outlive their owners.   Some survive 10, 25, 40 or 100-plus years here on earth!   Aquatic species can survive for 70 years, while some of the land tortoises can live 150 years.
One of the most popular turtles that people choose for pets, the red eared slider,  can live for 50 to 70 years.  On the other hand, the average turtle life span of box turtles is 40 years.  But, believe it or not, they can live for over 100 years!   On the other hand, the African spurred tortoise, the largest tortoise in the African mainland and the third-largest on the planet, can live 80 to 100 years!  The slow-moving Galapagos tortoise can reach an age of 150 years or more.  But a male  Aldabra Giant Tortoise might be the oldest creature ever recorded at 250 years old!   But, these life spans are shortened whenever these turtles receive poor husbandry. Proper care plays a critical role in helping your pet reach its  maximum turtle age.    But how do we determine turtle age when  a turtle can live longer than its owner?

Counting or determining turtle age has always been a question. Why? If the turtle came from the wild before it was bought and raised in captivity, who can tell the real age? If it was bought a few years after it was hatched, who can tell? Adult turtles look almost the same. Unlike humans, it is not easy to make a calculation of a turtle’s age.

It is almost impossible to tell the exact age of a turtle. Its age cannot be determined by the lines on its shell. Nevertheless, these lines can help in the estimation of turtle age. This is why people follow this method. However, this process of counting lines on  turtle’s shell can prove  inaccurate,  because the layers of carapace fall off through time.

On the other hand, turtle age can be determined in younger turtles through counting the growth rings on the upper shell.  However, this approach of turtle age determination is only precise until about 15 to 20 years of age.   As turtles mature, growth rings deteriorate and become difficult to distinguish.

For turtles, determination of their age is not necessary.  They do not mind if they are young, adult, or old.   For them, it is much better if, instead, they are allowed to reach and enjoy the maximum of their natural life.   They deserve their very long turtle life span. They have the right to exist on earth. People must value how they should be taken care of more than how their age should be counted.    Therefore, prospective turtle owners must first make informed decisions before buying their pets, while beginning turtle keepers must make an extra effort to learn how to provide their turtles  the ultimate in care.  Turtles  are not easy to care for.    They require proper housing, lighting, temperature, and cleaning among other things.

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