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Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Turtle?

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by Sk8gal, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. Sk8gal

    Sk8gal Elite Member

    I'm a bit curious on how to tell the age of the turtle. Do the large hexagons in the middle of the shell tell the turtle's age?


    For example, do those five shapes down the middle of the turtle mean its five years old?
    [​IMG]



    I'm interested on finding out the age of my turtles.
     
  2. prismwolf

    prismwolf Well Established Member

    Re: Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Tur

    Nope - The hexagons are called scutes...and to tell the age is said to be done by counting the rings (like the rings of a tree) that are inside one of those scutes. Each ring is supposed to represent one year. It's still only a best guess though because some years the turtle may have an exceptional growth period adding an extra ring - and some years there may be an extra long hibernation period and a turtle may skip a ring. It is an estimation though - and you can guess that if it has say 5 rings inside a scute - it could be anywhere from 4-6 years old. Here's a link I came across that might help - or confuse - you more...;-)
    How Old Is My Turtle
     
  3. Sk8gal

    Sk8gal Elite Member

    Re: Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Tur

    Thank you very much!
     
  4. Drache Dame

    Drache Dame Elite Member

    Re: Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Tur

    What's a Chelonian?
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Tur

    Chelonia-The family of turtles
     
  6. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Re: Can Shell Patterns Tell You the Age of the Tur

    The rings of a turtle's shell, as mentioned, are only a very rough estimate, especially in captive turtles. Plus as a turtle gets older the rings wear down, essentially making them look younger the older they get. It's also better used on tortoises and box turtles. Red-eared sliders don't have very obvious rings. The yellow and green patterns aren't rings.

    Your turtles look really young, just based on their size and proportions. If your turtle was 5 years old he'd probably be really malnourished.
     
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