Turtles and Tortoises in Captivity

Judy Glattstein jglatt@hughes.net
Mon, 19 Mar 2007 09:37:00 PDT
Jim raises some good points. However: my two tortoises had a large 
portion of our L-shaped bathroom for their winter quarters. There was a 
box with large cut-outs on all sides, with a heat lamp in the roof, so 
they could easily warm up or cool off. One point to remember is that 
reptiles and amphibians are poikilothermic - a $25 word meaning body 
temperature is regulated by surrounding temperature, not internal 
metabolism. If they eat food and temperatures are too low the food will 
rot inside their body rather than be digested.

They were fed soaked dog biscuits, fruit and vegetables, with a 
"dressing" of calcium powder and a drop or two of cod liver oil.

They had a shallow bathing pool (Pyrex pie pan) with the water changed 

Summers outdoors had pool and shaded areas - they can also overheat.

Here in New Jersey I once found a baby box turtle in my garden, smaller 
than the size of my palm. I usually do at least one rescue each summer, 
hustling an indignant box tortoise from the middle of the road to the 
verge. They're very territorial, and that's about as far as I like to 
shift one.

I'm comfortable that these tortoises were well cared for. Greek 
tortoises do not close their plastron as box tortoises are able to do. 
That Kleine was killed and eaten by a predator had nothing to do with 

Want to hear about the pet skunk I had for 5 years?

Judy in New Jersey where any sensible tortoise, turtle, or snake is 
still sound asleep. Given the icy snow all over the garden I'm tempted 
to take a nap myself . . .

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