April 2013

April 2013

All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.

FRIDAY, 26 APRIL 2013 >>

"Aggression issues"

Life's been absolutely non-stop for the past few weeks, both in and out of the reptile room, and it's about time I took a moment to breathe and write a catch-up update. There's been a tonne of stuff to post about, but for this update I wanted to focus on an unexpected problem in my zoo; turtle bullying.

Whenever I'm asked advice about keeping turtles, I'm always quick to recommend only one per tank. Like many reptiles, turtles are highly solitary by nature, and keeping multiple animals together can lead to territorial behaviour and food/breeding aggression.

For the most part, the problems stem from male turtles, either fighting one another for territory and breeding grounds, or harassing female turtles which are unable to escape their attentions in the confines of an aquarium or pond. However, the problem is not limited to male turtles, and as is the case with this particular situation, female-female aggression is still a big possibility.

keeping multiple turtles together, aggression, territorial behaviour, bites, dominance, injuries keeping multiple turtles together, aggression, territorial behaviour, bites, dominance, injuries, nipping keeping multiple turtles together, aggression, territorial behaviour, bites, dominance, foot injuries

The problem came to light last week, when I gave my adult Musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus) a routine check over, and found one in particularly tough shape. It was clear from various injuries that it had been subjected to a number of nasty nips and bites by its tankmate, including inflammed skin, and a number of missing claws on the feet.

This aggression is unusual not simply because it is a female-only habitat, but also as these turtles have been kept together for many years without issue, and may even be siblings from the same clutch. Ample food is provided on a daily basis, and yet a dispute has broken out. Needless to say, the turtles are now separated; an outcome which should always be taken into account when considering keeping multiple turtles together. The injured turtle is making a steady recovery with Tamodine treatment and some TLC, and should hopefully be back to her usual self soon.

Anyhow, huge update coming soon, with a bunch of new lizards, tanks and plants. Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to email me at the address below,

Paul Edmondson

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