The reproduction of turtles it is a very extensive subject since there are many different species that use different methods and procedures. There are land, freshwater aquatic and marine turtles. And of each modality there are different species and subspecies.
For this reason, in this AnimalWised article we will generically address the reproduction of turtles and we will put some general examples that you should know..
We will also talk about captive turtles that struggle to maintain the survival of the species. Following:You may also be interested in: Classification of animals according to their reproduction Index
- The chelonians or turtles
- Reproduction of domestic tortoises
- Reproduction of amphibian turtles
- Reproduction of sea turtles
- Artificial incubation
The chelonians or turtles
The chelonians or turtles They are reptiles that are characterized by having a shell that envelops and protects the body. Obviously, the first step in turtle reproduction begins with a classic formula among vertebrates: copulation..
Male tortoises are very rough and the nuptial courtship consists of biting the female's legs and repeatedly striking her shell against that of the poor female..
Fortunately Nature is very wise and has devised a system to avoid torture of the poor females and minimize the brutality of the act. Female tortoises can keep their semen active for 3 years, thus avoiding mating during that time..
Reproduction of domestic tortoises
The usual thing among domestic tortoises is that they are fertile from the ninth year of life in the case of the females, and from the 7 years the males. Therefore, matching specimens that one of them is immature is a mistake.
In the event that both are sexually mature and after copulation, the female will lay the fertilized eggs in holes 10-12 cm deep that she will have previously dug. There is no fixed period for the eggs to hatch (usually 5 to 7), since it will depend on the temperature generated by the insolation on the laying site..
At the time of hatching, the small turtles will be born, emerging to the surface. These little turtles will measure barely 4 cm or less.
Reproduction of amphibian turtles
The mating ritual of freshwater turtles is different from terrestrial ones, but one thing in common is that males are sometimes violent. Amphibian tortoises are normally sexually mature by 5 years of age. The ritual dance takes place with the male in front of the female, who tries to caress her face with his front legs. Then it will swim in circles brushing the shells. If the female does not cooperate, the male may attempt to submerge her and prevent her from breathing.
Once mating is completed and if the female is still alive, the gestation of the eggs inside the turtle usually lasts about 2 months. Egg laying occurs on land, preferably in sandy areas. There are species that lay up to 20 eggs at one time. Once the female covers the eggs with sand, or dirt, in a sunny area. These take between 80 and 90 days to hatch. After this period, the turtles are born.
Reproduction of sea turtles
Sea turtles are very long-lived, reaching well over 100 years of age. They are fertile from 6-8 years. The Marine turtles they mate in deep water, and after that the females form their eggs inside for a period of 2 to 3 weeks.
Egg laying is carried out in most species overnight. The females travel considerable distances along the beach so that the eggs of the imminent laying are not exposed to the big waves and high tide. Once the site is chosen, they dig a hole about 50 cm deep, depositing between 50 and 100 eggs in the hole. After laying the female covers the eggs with sand.
After a period of 40 to 70 days, the small turtles begin to hatch, waiting for the majority of the sisters to hatch to head towards the sea all together; which happens during the night. In this way they minimize their exposure to predators. The temperature of the sand is what determines the sex of the turtles. At high temperatures all females are born.
Females usually spawn on the same beaches where they were born, but this is not always the case. It is the males who have the most fondness for the coastlines known in their childhood..
Since all species of sea turtles are highly threatened, there are various international programs to reintroduce turtles on beaches where turtles formerly existed, but which have now stopped spawning.
For this reason, protected spawning areas have been created and use is also being made of artificial incubation to maximize the number of live offspring.