We’re meeting an awesome reptile today at camp! These turtles live in Lake Salamander, we see them when we go canoeing or hang out on the dock! They are friendly, but never wave back- maybe that’s because turtles are not good at waving! Hahaha! Let’s meet the red-eared slider!
RED EARED SLIDER FUN FACTS:
- Red eared sliders live in the Southern United States to Mexico in wetlands, ponds and rivers.
- They are omnivores. They eat fish, tadpoles and plants.
- They grow up to 13 inches.
- Red eared sliders are listed as common by the IUCN.
- Red eared sliders have red dashes around their ears.
- They bask in the sun during the day.
- Red eared sliders don’t have saliva and must eat their food under water.
- Red eared sliders have claws on their front feet. Their feet are also webbed.
- They brumate (become less active and hang out on the bottom of rivers/ponds during the fall and winter).
Red eared sliders are super cute. They unfortunately are listed as one of the most invasive species by the IUCN. They are popular pets, but once they grow to large or their owners get bored with them, they release them in to the wild, whether it is the proper habitat or not.
Having pet turtles is great, but you must do your homework and know how big they will grow and how long they will live. Releasing pets in to the wild is not good for them or for local wildlife that is native to the area.