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Hot turtles, what signs to look for.

Discussion in 'General Turtle Care Discussion' started by Aussiepride83, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Hey all, I thought I'd share a few videos here for you all to see. These are wild Emydura macquarii signata that inhabit a man-made lake a couple of kilometres from my place. I have been visiting this lake monthly for approximately 12-13 years. The turtles here are quite used to the presence of people and willingly go about their business without a care in the world. They aren't at all camera shy which is great for anyone interested in observing the behaviours of wild turtles like myself. Now that Spring has arrived, the turtles are waking up and I can catch up with them all again. This footage was captured last Saturday - 09/09/17.

    The purpose of me taking this footage is to show you guys what hot turtles look like so you know what to watch out for when you have your captive indoor turtles outside basking in the sun. Now that winter is over, more of you will have the opportunity to take your turtles outside more often as the days are getting progressively longer. Each year without fail, Craig and I have to deal with turtles that have been put out in the sun by their keepers and forgotten about or simply left too long, have overheated and are on death's door or already died.

    I watched these guys bask from 9:50am - 10:50am (bear in mind it's early Spring) they'd not be out at this time in the midst of Summer. These turtles still reached a body temperature (I'm guesstimating) exceeding 30 degrees C. Still, they were reluctant to re-enter the cool water and were exhibiting all the signs of hot turtles attempting to cool themselves. Should you see your turtle displaying any of the following behaviours, it's time to return it to the safety of its aquarium. These wild turtles can push themselves to their upper limit because the safety of the water is just a quick dive away. In a captive situation though, a turtle is stuck in the sun until you physically remove it so PLEASE be VIGILANT. It only takes a couple of minutes for a turtle to succumb to heat stress once its absolute maximum/critical temperature is exceeded.

    In the following videos you will see turtles sitting with their mouths open, expelling water from their eyes and wiping it over their faces with their front feet and constantly moving their limbs off the hot surface of the basking rock and re-positioning them.

    I hope you find these somewhat useful.







     
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  2. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    I'd like to add that it takes much less time for a baby or juvenile turtle to overheat in the sun than it does a large adult turtle like the ones in Kev's videos.
     
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  3. Jay84

    Jay84 Juvenile Turtle
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    Interesting to watch, it'd be cool to observe them in their natural habitat without them bolting back in the water.
     
  4. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Yes, it's a great opportunity to observe them this time of the year.
     
  5. smoyle

    smoyle Adult Turtle
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    My little guy is only 5.5cm but he's loving basking on his dock and does this eye wiping frequently. So cool to watch. Also shifts position constantly, moves in and out of the hottest spot. Just hopped back in the water now after 15 minutes up there.
     
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  6. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Sounds like he's behaving perfectly normal mate.
     
  7. smoyle

    smoyle Adult Turtle
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    Yep, a very happy and healthy turtle over here!
     
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