Posts Tagged ‘red-ear slider’

The males have these long claws on their front legs. If kept away from a female, he may be seen swimming around his tank while doing this bizarre ritual:


For those people who claim this is a dominance ritual– turtles don’t have dominance hierarchies. You have to have a brain larger than a pin’s head to have a dominance hierarchy. They do have territorial behavior, and sometimes  they do use mating behavior as territorial behavior. I think it’s because people watch things like the Dog Whisperer that they think that all animal behavior can be reduced to dominance and submission. Well, that’s not true in dogs, and it’s certainly not true in more primitive animals.

When he gets a female in his tank, he does rakes his claws around her head. Apparently, female pond sliders like their men with cuticles like Edward Scissorhands.

Pond sliders aren’t native to my part of the country, but you can find them here. The red-eared subspecies is so common in the pet trade, and most people don’t know how to care for an aquatic turtle. When these things outgrow their tanks or their food bill becomes too high, their owners release them into the wild. Like this fellow. (NEVER EVER RELEASE PET ANIMALS INTO THE WILD. NEVER.)

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