Turtletopia

The Turtle Lover's Utopia

Archive for the ‘Tortoises’ Category

Recipe: Squirt Happy Turtle Cakes

Squirt Turtle Cupcakes

Squirt Turtle Cupcakes

Check out these cute little Squirt (from Nemo) cupcakes I found via Pinterest! Check out the recipe on the Disney website!

Comments Off on Recipe: Squirt Happy Turtle Cakes

Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part IV

If you’ve been following the post series on selecting a healthy reptile, you’ve reached the final list!  With the holidays fast approaching, many parents will be looking at giving their kids pets as gifts and turtles are a very popular first pet. I hope this guide will help those out there as a guideline of what to look for when picking up a new reptile for the house.

So far, we’ve covered what to look for in the body of the reptile, in the head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth and the general appearance and movement of the reptile before purchasing.  Lastly, we’ll look at things you should check related to the  head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the reptile:

Behavior

  • A healthy reptile may try to avoid being caught when you or the pet store employee/vendor go into the enclosure. Once in hand, it may try to escape from you. It may musk or defecate on you. It may try to bite your fingers. It will be alert to its surroundings, checking you out as much as you are checking it out, and looking around. This is all normal behavior. A reptile who lays there, unresisting, uninterested in what is going on around it, is sick. While some pre-owned reptiles may relax when being held, they will still appear alert and responsive, to you and to activity going on around you. Apathy and lethargy should not be confused with tameness.
  • A sick baby, juvenile, or adult may still try to avoid being caught and held, and may still try to flee, but will do so with less strength, noticeable once you have them in hand. Once you have held healthy reptiles, the weak muscle tone of a sick one will be hard to miss. A diurnal lizard whose leg or toe muscles tremor or twitch in the absence of any other movement has metabolic bone disease.
  • A possible exception to the “lethargy = sick” rule is if the store or vendor has kept the reptile too cold. They will naturally be sluggish, slow moving and very slowly or non-responsive. Some stores keep them too cold because they don’t know or care. Others do it to keep wild, untamed animals quiet, making them easier to sell to customers who don’t know any better. If the reptile is cold, ask the employee/vendor to warm it up, or skip the store and go elsewhere. If the reptiles have been kept too cold for too long, they are very likely sicker than ones kept properly.
I hope this post series helps you find the right turtle for you and your family!

Photo CreditSource

Comments Off on Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part IV

Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part III

Welcome to Part III of a four-part post series on selecting a healthy reptile.  With the holidays fast approaching, many parents will be looking at giving their kids pets as gifts and turtles are a very popular first pet. I hope this guide will help those out there as a guideline of what to look for when picking up a new reptile for the house.

So far, we’ve covered what to look for in the body of the reptile and in the head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the reptile before purchasing.  This week we’ll start by looking at things you should check related to the head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the reptile:

General Appearance/Movement/Other

  • Can you feel the reptile resist you as you move its limbs? Weakness or shakiness indicates a severely debilitated or sick reptile. If a lizard or turtle, it may be suffering from calcium deficiency. In snakes, especially boas and pythons, it could be inclusion body disease. If it is a boa or python, I strongly suggest you not buy any boa or python from that store/breeder/vendor. Wash thoroughly and change your clothes before handling anyone else’s boas and pythons and before touching any of your boas, pythons, or their enclosures.
  • Are there any black, dark reddish brown, or bright orange dots (mites) moving around the snake’s or lizard’s body? Look especially carefully around the ears, armpits, and along the neck and dorsal crest on lizards, and under the belly scales and under the chin and neck on snakes. Indicates overall poor care and lack of concern in the store and possibly weakened and sick lizard.
  • Do the legs pull away from you strongly when you gently tug on them? A healthy chelonian will firmly pull the limb away from you; a sick one will pull more weakly, or may not react at all.
  • Is the body extremely wrinkled, dull looking? Dehydrated. May also be a sign of improper environmental conditions preventing the snake or lizard from shedding.
  • When you hold it, can you hear a clicking or wheezing sound when it breathes? This is another sign of respiratory infection.
Next week, we’ll look at the behavior of  a turtle when selecting one for purchase…

Photo CreditSource

Comments Off on Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part III

Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part II

Last week, we started a post series on selecting a healthy reptile.  With the holidays fast approaching, many parents will be looking at giving their kids pets as gifts and turtles are a very popular first pet. I hope this guide will help those out there as a guideline of what to look for when picking up a new reptile for the house.

If you haven’t read the first part of the series, you can catch the list of what to look for in a reptile’s body before purchasing.  This week we’ll start by looking at things you should check related to the head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the reptile:

Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Mouth

  • Are the eyes bleary, weepy, crusted? Possible respiratory infection, eye inflammation/infection, or mite infestation.
  • Is it gaping (breathing with mouth open)? If the enclosure is not too hot for the species, and it is not a lizard giving an open-mouth threat, it is a sign of a respiratory infection.
  • Is the nose free of wet or dried mucous, or is it “runny”? (Note: if salty deposits are present, is this normal.) Bubbly or dried mucous indicates respiratory infection; requires veterinary care. Runny nose and/or eyes indicates respiratory infection.
  • Is the interior of the mouth pale or grayish pink? Stringy, ropey, or sheeting mucous? Small yellowish, whitish or greenish patches in gums, tongue or roof of mouth? (Gently pull down on the dewlap to open the mouth) Systemic infection causing secondary mouthrot; requires veterinary care.
  • Is the lower jaw swollen out equally on both sides? Indicates probably metabolic bone disease.
  • Are their any swellings near the ears? Indicates systemic infection and abscesses.
  • Are the eyes swollen? Could indicate respiratory infection, hypothermia, or, in less frequent cases, vitamin A deficiency.
  • Are there any lumps or swellings on the face, neck, or dewlap? (Note: large sexually mature male iguanas often have large fleshy jowls surrounding the large subtympanic scale and soft swellings on the top of their heads–both of which are normal and healthy; tegus may have fleshy jowls below and caudal to their ears.) Swellings, hard or soft, may be infected abscesses; requires veterinary care.

Next week, we’ll look at general appearance, movement and other things related to selecting a healthy turtle or tortoise…

Photo CreditSource

Comments Off on Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part II

Advice Column: Select a Healthy Reptile – Part I

Normally on Mondays, I run the turtle or tortoise video posts. I thought we’d take a break for the month of November and bring back the Advice Column posts from way back when. With the holidays fast approaching, many parents will be looking at giving their kids pets as gifts. I hope this guide will help those out there as a guideline of what to look for when picking up a new reptile for the house.

If you’ve ever walked into a pet shop to purchase a turtle for educational purposes, they probably looked all the same. It’s hard picking a healthy pet when you don’t know what to look for. To make your job easier in picking a healthy, happy turtle, you should really take the time to inspect the turtle you want to take home.

Since the list of what you should look for can be fairly long, I’ve made this a four-part post. This week we’ll start by looking at things you should check related to the body of the reptile:

Body

  • Is the skin clean, clear, firm, free of scratches and bites? Bites and scratches may lead to infected abscesses later on.
  • Is the belly free of burns? Burns may heal, but the skin may, from then on, always be sensitive to bottom heat.
  • Is the belly free from ground-in feces? Feces on skin and claws indicate an unsanitary environment and probably a weak and sick animal. Feces on the back of a reptile may indicate a very sick one who is too weak to get out from under stronger cagemates.
  • Is the vent free of dried feces and urates? Presence indicates a weak, and possibly parasite- and protozoan-loaded reptile.
  • Are the body, limbs, and tail free of lumps and bumps and swelling other than the joints?Abscesses, cysts, and broken bones require veterinary care and treatment.
  • Are the back legs shaped normally for that species, or is there a large, hard knot in both thighs? One hard, swollen leg may be a broken bone; both similarly swollen is likely to be severe calcium deficiency.
  • Is there plenty of flesh between the neck and forearms, or is there a deep recess on both sides of the neck? Deep recesses indicate a starved chelonian.
  • Is the shell firm and without defects? Soft shells indicate metabolic bone disease. Defects indicate possible shell infection due to being kept in unsanitary conditions; there may be a systemic infection, as well.
Next week we’ll look at what you should check for in the  head, eyes, ears, nose and mouth of the reptile…

Photo CreditSource

Constructing an Outdoors Turtle Pen

Outdoor Turtle Pen

Outdoor Turtle Pen

One option for the serious turtle keeper is to construct an outdoor turtle pen. This project is most satisfying in areas where climate allows the turtles to be kept outside permanently; in most areas of the country winter conditions necessitate bringing the turtles inside during cold weather. If you keep turtles native to your area, however, they can hibernate naturally right inside their pen.

The pen should be as large as practical, and should contain a variety of microhabitats–areas of shade as well as areas of sun. It is very important that the turtle pen have at least some areas of shade at all times during the day, as unprotected tortoises can overheat quickly in a full midday sun. At the same time, basking spots must always be available. The turtles should be able to thermoregulate by moving from sun to shade as needed.

Several large, flat rocks can serve as basking spots and as heat retainers. You will also need some rock caves where the turtles can retreat for shade and whenever they need to feel secure. If the bulk of the pen area is left in its natural state, with several inches of soil, some leaf litter and vegetation, the turtles will spend most of their time happily digging and foraging for invertebrates and edible plants. Make sure there are no toxic plants anywhere in the enclosure.

A colony of aquatic turtles can be kept outside in an artificial pond. To produce an artificial pond, an area the size and depth that you want the finished pond to be must be dug out. A good pond should be a minimum of ten feet across anfrd at least two feet deep, with no rocks or other protruding objects left at the bottom of the hole.

Once you have excavated a suitable hole, line it with a strong waterproof material, such as butyl rubber, that serves the same function as a swimming pool liner. This prevents leaks and keeps the pond water from draining away, and should be as thick as practical to prevent tears. The liner should overlap the edges of the pond by about a foot with the overlapping edge covered over by several inches of rocks and soil to hold it firmly in place.

Next, fill the interior of the liner with four or five inches of clean sand, to push the liner flat against the bottom and to protect it from rocks, branches, turtle claws and other potential sources of puncture. Once the liner is firmly in place, add enough water to fill the pond.

Shallow areas near the shore of an artificial pond can be planted with cattails, pickerel weed and other aquatic plants that provide cover for young turtles and attract insect life to the pond. The turtles can use a number of flat rocks scattered along the shore as entry and exit ramps and as basking spots. Another good idea is to place a large tree branch or trunk in the pond, so it forms a long basking platform that can be reached from either land or water. Most aquatic turtles prefer to bask on logs or branches that extend out into the water so they can dive to safety at the first hint of danger.

If you live in an area of the country where winters are cool, it is best to stock your pond only with native species, or at least only species from temperate zones that normally hibernate in the winter. The turtles will bury themselves in the sand at the bottom of the pond or in the mud at the shores to hibernate through the winter.

If you live in an area that is warm year-round, you will be able to maintain tropical species in your pond. Any nonnative species of turtle must be kept securely in your pond to prevent them from escaping and becoming established in the local ecosystem.

The perimeter of the turtle pen can be made from wooden planks, bricks or stones. The wall must be at least several inches higher than the length of the longest turtle you will be keeping. If you make the wall just high enough that you can step over it, the turtles will be prevented from climbing out and you will be spared the necessity of making a door or gate for the pen. If you are keeping turtles that are good climbers, it is best to have an overhanging lip around the inside top of the wall to prevent escapes.

Since tortoises are excellent diggers, you will need some provision to discourage your pets from tunneling their way to freedom. Sink all the walls of the pen a foot or so into the ground. Although the turtles may repeatedly attempt to dig their way underneath the fence, eventually they will tire and give up. If you intend to keep the turtles in their pen year-round, there must be enough dirt and leaf litter available for the turtles to get beneath the frost line so they can hibernate in winter.

Excerpted from “The Turtle: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet”. (c) copyright 1997 by Howell Book House.

Comments Off on Constructing an Outdoors Turtle Pen

Friday Finds: Tortoise Puppet

Christmas is around the corner so it’s time to look at Friday Finds that would make great presents! To start off the list, here’s a nice looking tortoise puppet with movable legs and a retractable head!

From the amazon.com website – 
This 13-inch-long tortoise puppet has a soft green reptilian body, gleaming brown eyes, and a smooth, beige suede tortoise shell. With your help, Tortoise can creep along at her leisurely pace (about a mile every 9 hours, according to the tortoise fact sheet printed on her label), or, if she senses danger, quickly retract her head and front legs into her shell, a skill which makes her particularly well-suited for games of peekaboo. A mature and sage-looking creature, Tortoise makes a terrific trouper for your puppet show, or simply a fun take-along friend (talk to her in the car, she’s a great listener). Be sure to check out Tortoise’s label for fascinating facts about tortoises as well as the Hottentot version of the famous “Tortoise and the Hare” folktale.

Buy Tortoise Puppet on Amazon.com >>

Comments Off on Friday Finds: Tortoise Puppet

Cleaning Ponds

backyard pond
“backyard pond” by massdistraction on flickr

Here are some easy to follow directions for cleaning your pond once it has been set up:

  1. Remove marginal plants first and store them temporarily in a shady spot, watering them regularly to prevent them drying out.
  2. Wrap any wilting plants in damp newspaper for temporary protection.
  3. Net off floating plants and keep them in buckets or trays of water.
  4. Place a temporary container for the fish and turtles somehwere near the pond, but shaded from the heat of the sun. A round wading pool with a good surface area is ideal.
  5. Fill the wading pool with the cleanest water drawn from near the surface of the pond.
  6. Unless the water is particularly foul, save as much as you can at this stage in buckets, so that the balance will be quickly restore in the refilled pond.
  7. Use the rest of the water from the pond for watering flowerbeds and shrubs.
  8. It is easier to catch the fish and turtles when the pond is nearly empty; this is now the time to do so.
  9. Make sure the wading pool is sufficiently aerated by installing a circulation pump or air stone.
  10. If you also have fish, cover the container with a tight-fitting fine mesh net to prevent the fish from leaping out.
  11. Drain the pond as low as possible and double check for any small fish you have overlooked.
  12. Remove the layer of debris on the pond base with a dustpan and bucket rather than the pump.
  13. If you need to step into the pond, check that the base will support your weight.
  14. Rinse the pond down and brush off any excess blanket weed from the sides.
  15. Begin refilling the pond.
  16. Reposition the plants in the pond as soon as it is sufficiently full.
  17. Add a water conditioner to the inflowing water to neutralize any chlorine.
  18. If you manage to save any of the old water, add it to the pond.
  19. Allow the water in the refilled pond to warm slightly before transferring the fish back in.
  20. Return any floating plants.
  21. The pond will take some time to settle and may appear rather cloudy for a few weeks.
  22. Feed the fish, but only sparingly at first. Avoid adding any new fish until the pond has completely recovered and established the nitrogen cycle once again.
Comments Off on Cleaning Ponds

Mascot & Pet Turtle Costumes – Halloween Turtle Costume Special

So far, we’ve featured kids & toddler turtle costumesadult turtle costumes ,the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes and sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes. Today, we end our turtle costume series of posts with the obscure for those of you who like costumes out of the norm… the mascot turtle costumes!

Terry Turtle Mascot

Terry Turtle Mascot

Turtle Mascot Costume – School Mascot Costume This mascot costume is manufactured from only the finest fabrics. The suits are fully lined and padded where needed to give a sculptured effect. All suits are comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. The hands have a set-in thumb for greater usability. The parade feet can be worn over your own shoes. The head of each character is fabricated from high-tech lightweight papier-mache. They are water repellent and sturdy. All heads are fur covered, have adjustable headgear, screened eyes, and are individually hand painted by expert artists. This mascot costume is designed with your safety in mind. The heads are made of natural non-toxic materials and easy to take off. All suits are made with velcro closures for quick removal. Be sure to look at our mascot costume accessories section for additional add-ons that will help ensure that you have maximum comfort while wearing your mascot, as well as help maintain your mascot costume to ensure it will have a long life in good condition. *Alternate colors are available. Please leave a note in the instruction box when checking out and call us to confirm. Additional charges may apply. *Please allow 2 – 3 weeks for the mascot costume to be assembled. Because each mascot costume is custom-made upon order, 3 – 4 weeks is the minimum delivery time no matter which shipping option is selected. The manufacturer warrants that for a period of thirty (30) days following purchaser’s receipt of any item, the item will be free from defects in materials or workmanship. Seller shall repair or replace any item which is defective because of materials or workmanship, provided, that purchaser notifies seller in writing specifying the defect within five (5) days following purchaser’s receipt of the item. (This does not include normal wear and tear or abusive wear.)


Turtle Mascot Costume

Turtle Mascot Costume

Turtle Mascot Costume – University Mascot Costume People of all ages will love this Turlte Mascot Costume. This is a top-of-the-line, custom-made mascot. The professional design allows you to comfortably amuse and entertain for your school, college or business. This mascot is made to last for years and stand up to heavy use with maximum reliability and durability. This Turtle Mascot Costume comes complete with mascot head, mascot body, padded tummy, hands and feet. Vision is provided by a screen-covered opening in the mouth. This mascot features a 100-Day Warranty against defects in workmanship and materials. If there is any defect in the costume, costume parts or accessories, the manufacturer will replace your mascot costume at no cost to you. (This does not include normal wear and tear or abusive wear.) Be sure to browse our mascot costume accessories section for additional add-ons that will maximize comfort while wearing your mascot, as well as help maintain your mascot costume to ensure it will have a long life in good condition. *Alternate colors are available. Please leave a note in the instruction box when checking out and call us to confirm. Additional charges may apply. *Upon request, a built-in fan may be available on this mascot costume at an affordable price. *Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for the mascot costume to be assembled. Because each mascot costume is custom-made upon order, 2 – 3 weeks is the minimum delivery time no matter which shipping option is selected.


Sea Turtle Mascot

Sea Turtle Mascot

Turtle Mascot Costume – School Mascot Costume This mascot costume is manufactured from only the finest fabrics. The suits are fully lined and padded where needed to give a sculptured effect. All suits are comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. The hands have a set-in thumb for greater usability. The parade feet can be worn over your own shoes. The head of each character is fabricated from high-tech lightweight papier-mache. They are water repellent and sturdy. All heads are fur covered, have adjustable headgear, screened eyes, and are individually hand painted by expert artists. This mascot costume is designed with your safety in mind. The heads are made of natural non-toxic materials and easy to take off. All suits are made with velcro closures for quick removal. Be sure to look at our mascot costume accessories section for additional add-ons that will help ensure that you have maximum comfort while wearing your mascot, as well as help maintain your mascot costume to ensure it will have a long life in good condition. *Alternate colors are available. Please leave a note in the instruction box when checking out and call us to confirm. Additional charges may apply. *Please allow 2 – 3 weeks for the mascot costume to be assembled. Because each mascot costume is custom-made upon order, 3 – 4 weeks is the minimum delivery time no matter which shipping option is selected. The manufacturer warrants that for a period of thirty (30) days following purchaser’s receipt of any item, the item will be free from defects in materials or workmanship. Seller shall repair or replace any item which is defective because of materials or workmanship, provided, that purchaser notifies seller in writing specifying the defect within five (5) days following purchaser’s receipt of the item. (This does not include normal wear and tear or abusive wear.)


Dog Tortoise Costume

Finally if you’re looking for a costume for your favorite four legged friend, check out the dog tortoise costume below!

Dog Tortoise Costume

Dog Tortoise Costume

While I’m sure there are no dog/turtle hybrids native to the Gallapogos Islands, I see no reason that we can’t create such a species for the purpose of Halloween enjoyment. Dog costumes are basically the funniest thing in the world and combining that with turtles which are pretty funny, you must admit is only natural. Just look at this outfit we’ve got here and not crack up with glee. I’m cracking up now! The Dog Tortoise Costume comes with a foam printed headpiece, a foam padded shell attached to the body with Velcro, and a costume with legs. Just remember that slow and steady something somethings and this costume is adorable as heck. The Dog Tortoise Costume combines the reliability of the tortoise with the cuteness of a dog for one super costume.


Well that’s it! Those are all the turtle costumes I was able to find online. I hope you’re able to find a turtle costume that suits you and your needs!

 

Comments Off on Mascot & Pet Turtle Costumes – Halloween Turtle Costume Special

Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costumes – Halloween Turtle Costume Special

This is post 4 in a 5 part series related to turtle costumes. So far, we’ve featured kids & toddler turtle costumes, adult turtle costumes and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes. I have to say, being a geeky girl, this week’s post is my favorite so far. Check out these sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes!

Sexy Leonardo Ninja Turtle Costume - Sexy TMNT Costumes for Women

Sexy Leonardo Ninja Turtle Costume – Sexy TMNT Costumes for Women

You’ll become a fierce and sexy Ninja Turtle in this Sexy Leonardo Ninja Turtle Costume! The womens costume consists of a green halter top dress that velcros behind the neck and in the back. A gold and bronze inset on the chest looks like a turtle shell while the blue waistband has a decorative tie that hangs off the right hip. The mini skirt portion has two layers to create a ruffled appearance. The turtle shell backpack has straps the loop over your arms and a pouch that velcros at the top. The eye mask velcros behind your head and has two ties that hang down. Also included are two wristbands with attached blue ties. Get together with our other Sexy Ninja Turtle costumes for a group costume idea!


Sexy Donatello Ninja Turtle Costume - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sexy Costumes

Sexy Donatello Ninja Turtle Costume – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sexy Costumes

No one is going to mess with you in this Sexy Donatello Ninja Turtle Costume! The womens costume consists of a green halter top dress that velcros behind the neck and in the back. A gold and bronze inset on the chest looks like a turtle shell while the purple waistband has a decorative tie that hangs off the right hip. The mini skirt portion has two layers to create a ruffled appearance. The turtle shell backpack has straps the loop over your arms and a pouch that velcros at the top. The purple eye mask velcros behind your head and has two ties that hang down. Also included are two wristbands with attached purple ties. Get together with all our Sexy Ninja Turtle costumes for a group costume idea!


Sexy Michelangelo Ninja Turtle Costume - TMNT Costumes for Women

Sexy Michelangelo Ninja Turtle Costume – TMNT Costumes for Women

The guys will say “Cowabunga!” when they see you in this Sexy Michelangelo Ninja Turtle Costume! The womens costume consists of a green halter top dress that velcros behind the neck and in the back. A gold and bronze inset on the chest looks like a turtle shell while the orange waistband has a decorative tie that hangs off the right hip. The mini skirt portion has two layers to create a ruffled appearance. The turtle shell backpack has straps the loop over your arms and a pouch that velcros at the top. The orange eye mask velcros behind your head and has two ties that hang down. Also included are two wristbands with attached orange ties. Get together with all our Sexy Ninja Turtle costumes for a group costume idea!


TMNT - Sexy Raphael (Red) Deluxe Adult Costume

TMNT – Sexy Raphael (Red) Deluxe Adult Costume

Includes: Dress with turtleshell backpack,wristbands and eyemask. Does not include ninja sais or boots. This is an officially licensed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles product.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Weapons - Sais

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Weapons – Sais

Is your child a hero in a half-shell? If so, make sure he’s well equipped to wage battle underground and on the city streets! How can you do that? By purchasing these awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sais that look just like the kind those crime-fighting turtles use! Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Weapon – Sais come with two sai, each measuring 14″ in length! They are grey with a contrasting brown hilt! So before you order up a well-deserved pizza, order these great accessories and be sure that your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is ready for any and all action!


Comments Off on Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costumes – Halloween Turtle Costume Special