How to Tell a Turtle’s Age?

This article was co-authored by Audra Barrios. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. Audra earned a BASc in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied Natural Sciences at the College of Marin. She is the founder and Executive Director of Things That Creep, a non-profit dedicated to herptile conservation through education. She has spent the last six years working as a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences.

What is the average turtle age?

According to the Turtle Conservation Society, most turtle species live from 10 to 80 years. But sea turtles and large land tortoises can live to be much older. Their lifespan can be 150 years or more.

Do turtles recognize their owner?

Turtles Know Their Owners ! Most people don’t realize this, but many turtles recognize the sight and sounds of their owners! In fact, many owners comment how their pets swim right up to the water surface to greet them when they walk in the room.

How can I tell the age of my painted turtle?

Turn the turtle upside down where its stomach can be easily seen. Turtles will not enjoy being upside down and might hiss, but most painted turtles will not bite when turned upside down. ….Look at the abdominal area. ….Estimate the age of the turtle based on the number of rings.

Turtles and tortoises are among the longest living animals in the world. 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. Whether or not you need the help of your attorney, a turtle or tortoise is bound to be a pet youll enjoy for years to come.

Smaller individuals tend to be younger but a lot of outside influences can have an effect on a turtles growth rate, so this simple check is by no means certain. As a turtle lives, the time and elements do take their toll on a its shell and skin, even if it has spent its life in captivity.

When I was a child, it was much simpler to figure out a turtles age. Box and painted turtles were abundant where I lived, and my neighbor had a basic formula that he believed in heartily to tally their years: count the plastron (belly) scutes. Boy, that quick method sure made it easy. It wasnt until the third or fourth one was determined to once again be 12 years old that my suspicions started to set in. What were the chances?

Turtles are no doubt one of the longest living animals in the earth. In fact, these are so long living that when you bring them at home, it is often a lifelong commitment to pet them. And it might well happen that you might need to prepare a will separately for your favorite pet turtle after your demise.

On the contrary, the smaller and less-prominent circles indicate winter time when the turtle had to eat less than its necessity. When the red eared slider reaches two years of age, these rings will transform into brown color.

Once you have measured the turtle length properly, you will need to compare it with a chart to find the right age of it. AgeMale LengthFemale Length Baby turtles30mm to 40 mm30mm to 40 mm570mm to 75 mm130mm1090mm to 100mm160mm30100mm to 110mm225mm40100mm to 110mm230mm50100mm to 110mm235mm Caution: This is an approximate chart not scientifically established. Note that once your turtle has reached its full size, this method wont likely work effectively.

For instance, the member of Non-profit Sea Turtle Conservation Organization Dr Brian Wallace doubted the credibility. Sea turtle such as Kemp Riddle shoed good results in this method. In the wild habitat, turtles color and carapace condition will help you to determine its maturity instead of finding its age correctly.

As turtles grow in the wilderness, its carapace will start showing signs of wear and tear gradually. You can see scars on the legs and heads of the turtle even if the plastron or carapace appears smooth at first glance. Since pet turtles live happily in a well-maintained aquarium or pond, it doesnt go through such challenging conditions.

A baby red eared slider turtle will feature a bright color. By the time, red eared slider baby reaches two years, and you will see its carapace turning into brown color. You can also measure the carapace length to find out the exact age of the red eared slider.

Finally, you can observe the front and back of the red eared slider to determine its age. After a red eared slider reaches 2-years of age, you will see the development of tail and claws in its body. Painted turtles are also as popular as the red eared sliders in the USA and across the globe.

However, finding the right age of painted turtles isnt as easy as of the red eared sliders. Also, we suggest you take help from the expert turtle owners to determine its age accurately when you want to buy one actually.

About this article

To tell a turtle’s age, start by counting the number of rings inside one of the scales on the turtle’s shell. Then, divide that number in half to get a general estimate of the turtle’s age. You can also estimate a turtle’s age using its size. First, measure the turtle from tip to tail. 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. To learn how to find a size chart for different turtle species, scroll down!

Method 2: Checking turtles size

The size measurement method to determine the turtle’s age is mostly used if your turtle is already grown up. Also, this method is pretty easy to apply. All you have to do is to measure the turtle’s age using a measuring tape correctly.You must measure the turtle length from top to bottom. Sometimes the turtle may hiss or frequently move during the measuring time. If you face such challenges, I suggest you tempt the turtle with its favorite treat.Once you have measured the turtle length properly, you will need to compare it with a chart to find the right age of it. The chart is given below for your help.

Examining the turtle bones:

Scientists have recently started to examine the turtles’ bones to find out the age of sea turtles. However, I don’t recommend the method for average users since it is incredibly challenging.This method is called as skeleton-chronology. Scientists have found that the sea turtles develop annual rings. Scientists count them to determine the sea turtles’ age. However, the credibility of the method is not yet accepted by most scientists since it generates mix results.For instance, the member of “Non-profit Sea Turtle Conservation Organization” Dr Brian Wallace doubted the credibility. He said that although the method worked fine for some sea turtle species, it didn’t come out suitable for other species. Sea turtle such as Kemp Riddle shoed good results in this method.

Observing the visual signs of ageing:

This method of determining turtle’s age is mostly applicable to the wild turtles. It doesn’t work fine for pet turtles.In the wild habitat, turtle’s color and carapace condition will help you to determine its maturity instead of finding its age correctly. As turtles grow in the wilderness, its carapace will start showing signs of wear and tear gradually. It will even develop dents and chips with age.plastron or carapace appears smooth at first glance. If you see such spots or chips and dents on the turtle body, the chances are high that most likely the turtle has achieved its maturity. So you can assume that the turtle is between 15 years to 20 years.Since pet turtles live happily in a well-maintained aquarium or pond, it doesn’t go through such challenging conditions. So, you won’t see the scars, dents and chips on its body. Hence, it limits you from finding the turtle’s age by observing the sign of ageing in the captivity.

Determining the age of a painted turtle:

Red-eared sliders are definitely one of the most popular pet turtles in the USA and worldwide. These turtles have an average of 50 years of life expectancy. If you don’t know accurately when it has been hatched, you can’t determine its exact age.However, the following tricks might help you with the cause.

Some Fun Facts About the Turtle’s Age

Generally, people believe that turtles are the longest living animals and may easily live for 300 years. However, it isn’t a reality. Until now, scientists haven’t found any residing turtle as old as 300 years, not even 200 years.In the wilderness, a turtle might live around 80 years to 100 years. But in the captivity, it will live slightly longer. It happens because, in the detention, turtles don’t need to search for food. Also, owners take proper care of them with the right food. Furthermore, in captivity, turtles are free from the fear of predators and natural challenges.All these reasons count for the longevity of the pet turtles slightly. Until now, Jonathan is the longest living turtle ever recorded. It was born in 1832 and lived for the next 189 years.