Turtle identification is the first step in understanding how these animals live and behave. Before you can adopt a certain way of taking care of your turtle, you need to find out what type it is. Remember that living requirements will vary across different species because different types of turtles have different adaptation patterns. Just as humans have different habits, so do different species of turtles.
The pet shop
There are over three hundred species of turtles all over the world which makes turtle identification a bit of a challenge especially for beginners. However, you don’t have to be an expert in turtles to be able to find out what kind of pet you have with you. There are all sorts of ways to get started with turtle identification. If you haven’t really tried taking care of a turtle before, it’s best to start with your local pet store. You are sure to find someone there who can help you identify the turtle that you got and even obtain relevant tips on how to take care of your pet.
Another way of turtle identification that you can try is through research. You will want to read further on turtles and its various species. It’s a good idea to start with literature on common pet turtles as these are the ones that you’re most probably going to end up having. Turtle identification will require further studies on each kind of common pet turtle, finding out their dominant characteristics and markings. Zoologists usually have taxonomic keys that help them identify the species of turtles but you don’t really have to go this far, although it would help if you had those.
The internet is also a good source of turtle identification information. Many websites are established to help turtle owners identify the species of the pets that they are taking care of. These sites usually created by turtle enthusiasts and experts to provide valuable information to those who are interested in taking up turtle rearing as a hobby. You can also try visiting online communities composed of many pet owners around the world. Forums are usually available to provide a venue for those who are seeking aid in turtle identification. You can post your questions on these forums and wait for them to give you answers.
The pet doctor
You can also bring your turtle to a veterinarian who can help you with turtle identification. Most doctors can actually identify common types of turtles just by observing them. Aside from turtle identification, the veterinarian can also examine your pet and make sure that it is healthy. He can also prescribe certain methods of rearing it – i.e. a specific diet plan, recommendations on the type of turtle tank and such.
Aside from the many resources that can help you with turtle identification, there are also simple markings on a turtle that can give you a good idea on what type of species you have with you. Try observing the neck, appendages, the shell’s form and the size of your pet. Different species will have varied physical characteristics.