Having heard the question “How fast can a turtle run?” Most people will smile back. However, do not laugh ahead of time. For the usual Mediterranean or Greek species this is really nonsense.
But not for such as the Chinese turtle.
Her ability to run fast is one of the main characteristics and a distinctive feature.
The Chinese trionix turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is a typical member of the family of three-claws. Natural habitat – waters of North America.
However, they are widely spread on the Asian continent: in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.
On the territory of the Russian Federation they live in the Far East, they feel particularly comfortable in the rivers Amur and Ussuri.
At first glance, you pay attention to the unusual karapaks (armor). It does not have horny plates, and its upper layer is made of ordinary skin cells.
Please note: she still has a bone shell, but it is not covered with horny plates, but with a kind of “skin cloak”.
For such a feature, a class of similar reptiles is called soft-bodied. But the true nature of such a term does not reflect.
This is an evil and aggressive individual, fighting for their well-being with the help of teeth and claws.
The size of the reptile is not offended: in an aquarium it grows up to 25 cm, in nature it can reach 40. Weight – up to 4.5 kg, depending on the conditions of detention – maybe more.
It has two pairs of paws, each of which is equipped with five toes, interconnected by a typical reptile membrane (this feature is necessary in order to swim quickly). Fingers have three claws – they help in the process of obtaining food, while moving and protecting from enemies.
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Trionix neck is able to pull out so long that during a hunt, leave your body completely hidden in the water and watch what is happening on the surface. For hours can lie in this position, waiting for the delicious prey.
Having a sharp dental strip in the mouth, it bites off the prey instantly. Catching a fish, quickly bites her head, and then proceeds to gradually eat the body.
The color of the armor (green-gray) allows it to remain inconspicuous on the sand, and its soft texture is functionally bent when buried in the ground.
It is impossible not to note the ability to run fast. When a turtle sees a danger, it is able to run away at such a speed and safely hide that it will envy even fish.
Trionix is attentive and hears well. Even basking in the sun, he is sensitive and operational: your slightest movement to the side and his “as the wind blew away.”
Given the significant size of an adult individual, the skull house should be at least 250 liters. It should be filled with clean warm (26oC) water and ensure compliance with the constant parameters of the microclimate.
Contaminants in the aquarium should beware, because in case of their settling on the skin of the armor or causing injury to it, it can begin its festering process.
For this, the aquarium is equipped with a powerful filter and cover.
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An aerator is also required (to saturate the water with oxygen) and a heating device (preferably with a thermostat function).
The nature of the reptile dictates the features of the design of his house. Thus, the ratio of the time that the tortoise trionix spends in water and on land is about 5: 1.
In the aquarium should be equipped with a special “place in the sun” where it can climb and soak.
The turtle swims even better than running. This is where the benefit of unusual armor was manifested.
The absence of horn flaps makes it light and slippery. Therefore, in the water “to carry it on yourself” is much easier.
Naturally, with such mobility there should be no obstacles in her way.
Favorite occupation with a gorged turtle – to lie on the bottom, pretending to be a pebble. She is allowed to do the coloring and shape of the carapace.
This is another trick disguised predator. An unsuspecting fish can swim very close and not feel danger.
The nose of the proboscis, which is a very sensitive organ of smell, stands out sharply on the head of a Chinese sly fellow. It is by smell that he senses a fish and proceeds to attack with his “iron” jaws.
Once in them, rarely any instance will be able to free themselves.
If the fish didn’t fall for it, the sly can dig deep into the ground and look for food there. But the ground should be accessible for such trips (preferably on a sandy basis, without large stone fragments).
The content of the trionix by a novice aquarist will be quite problematic. He practically does not get used to the owner, except to settle him in his very small.
If, after all, the choice fell on him, it is necessary to decide: how many individuals to settle in the terrarium? Here such characteristic as anger comes to the fore.
Three-tailed turtles can not tolerate competitors similar to themselves. The struggle between them can be so aggressive that it can be brought to ruin.
If he lives alone, problems in care becomes less.
It is also necessary to ensure that the trionix “does not go on a long journey”. Very professional and fast, he is able to get out of his house and run away from him.
He does this in the following way: by becoming on the bottom of the parietal part of his head (literally what is called upside down), he stretches his neck, lifting the light arm straight up. As they reach the surface of the water, the armor is thrown through the wall and the turtle is completely outside.
That is why the cover is so important.
It is easy to feed a bug, but not cheap: it eats a lot and requires a variety of diets. It should contain:
- Fish or minced fish;
- Vegetable component.
For a healthy life, you need to make a special feed for reptiles, containing nutrients and vitamins.
Bondage is not a brake on reproduction. It occurs at the onset of puberty (approximately the fifth year of life).
Mating occurs more frequently in spring. The process itself takes place under water and lasts within 10 minutes.
The boy grabs the female with his teeth by the neck and holds him tight.
The duration of pregnancy is two months.
After mating, the female should be transplanted.
On the expiration of the prescribed period begins the laying of eggs. To do this, choose a warm place, near the water.
In nature, fertilized eggs are buried in a dug hole.
At this concern for the offspring for turtles ends. The process of maturation and development of eggs occurs regardless of their life. After two months, the young hatch from them and independently climb out of the sand.
Their number is varied: from 20 to 80 individuals. It is established that the older the future mother, the more eggs will be in her clutch.
Immediately after the birth of a turtle, they move to the water and spend some time there, hiding at the bottom.
If the process occurs at a high temperature of air (above 33 ° C), the process of maturation of eggs occurs twice as fast.
When keeping home, a place to lay eggs must be provided. It is better if it is a mixture of earth and sand, located in a warm accessible place.
When the eggs are laid, they can be transferred to an incubator and kept there at a temperature of up to 30 ° C – 40-60 days, over 32 ° C – a little more than a month.
It is interesting to watch such cubs. Their abdomen is colored bright orange, fussy but cautious by nature.
At first, the food comes at the expense of the egg shell residues, and later it is better to purchase feed for turtles.
Like any unformed creature, the young can catch any disease and even die, but on the whole it is quite possible to raise offspring in a home terrarium.
Finding a common language with the Chinese trionix means feeling like a competent and conscientious aquarist. It is not easy and requires considerable effort. In the process of leaving can be everything: from painful bites to escape.
A turtle in a fit of rage is capable of anything, for good reason its popular name is the “evil turtle”. But the result is sometimes more pleasant, the harder it is to achieve it.
Having existed in artificial conditions for more than two hundred years, trionyx is still listed in the list of possible inhabitants of household aquariums.