Are box turtles dangerous? There are several species of turtles that do bite but box turtles are not one of them. Box turtles are one of the most common turtle species that are being kept as pets. By knowing that, you can already have an idea to the question of are box turtles dangerous? So, are box turtles dangerous? Let’s find out.
Pet in Focus: Box Turtles
Box turtles are included in the most popular reptile pets. They are perfect for those who don’t have any experience yet of keeping turtles or any reptile. Turtle species are usually one of the most neglected captive reptiles and it’s because lots of people just don’t know how to properly care for them. This is why it’s important that you do your homework before you decide on acquiring this pet so that you will avoid turning them over to a rescue.
Are box turtles dangerous? Most box turtle species don’t get to grow into large sizes compared to tortoises which means that they couldn’t in any way be dangerous. The average adult size is around 7 inches in diameter. Female species are just a bit smaller than their male counterparts. If they are well – fed and well – maintained, you can expect them to live up to 30 or 40 years. Unfortunately, unlike other reptiles, turtle species don’t go through a growth process known as hibernation. They reach sexual maturity at around 5 years old. If you want your pet turtle to live for a long time, make sure to properly take care of them.
Are Box Turtles Dangerous: The Thing About Salmonella
Are box turtles dangerous? Let’s talk about this topic relative to salmonella.Salmonella is a kind bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans. The disease that’s caused by these bacteria is known as Salmonellosis. It’s usually spread through contact with infected feces of reptiles and other animals. While the disease rarely causes anything more dangerous than diarrhea and vomiting in humans, it could be fatal for very young children, seniors and those people with low immune systems.
When it comes to the question, are box turtles dangerous? It’s for certain that turtle species are not the only reptile or household pet that can carry the salmonella disease. There are turtles that carry this infection asymptomatically. When we say asymptomatic, it only means that they don’t show any signs of illness. This can apply to are box turtles dangerous? Because the danger of salmonella infection is real and can affect you or your family if you don’t wash your hands after handling your turtle. The disease can be transferred easily particularly for young children if they come into contact with infected feces or if they forgot to wash their hands after handling the pet, then putting it into their mouths.
In the 70s, there was a Salmonella outbreak which affected a lot of people. This incident lead to some municipalities passing a law which prohibits the sale of turtle species that is smaller than four inches in diameter. And you know what’s interesting? The reason for the size limit is that turtle species that are bigger than four inches couldn’t be easily placed into one’s mouth. Are box turtles dangerous? Make sure to check your local laws before you buy a box turtle and see if you need to acquire a permit before keeping one. To avoid if are box turtles dangerous? Make sure to keep a good hygiene because it’s essential if you want to prevent the salmonella disease. It’s best to wash your hands after handling any kind of pet, their feces or other materials to avoid spreading infection.
Box Turtles: Anatomy
Compared to other household pets, turtle species like the box turtles have a different kind of muscle structures. Their protective shell are the replacement for bone structures, and as we all know this allows the animal to hide under its own shell if it’s being threatened by predators. The dorsal shell or the top shell is known as the carapace, while the bottom or ventral part is known as plastron.
A turtles shell is covered by scutes which are the bony plates. The scutes are usually being shed in large patches, and not like snake species where they shed their skin in one piece. The common misconception is that the number of scutes on their shell has something to do with how old a turtle is, it’s just not true.
Three - Chambered Hearts
The chest muscles of turtle species are also well – developed. And despite many differences in a turtle’s muscle structure, they are extremely strong but are box turtles dangerous because of that? Nope.
Turtles also lack teeth but some species have strong beaks that they sometimes use to bite if they are being threatened. These species also have no diaphragm, and they breathe through moving their membranes that encloses their internal organs including their head and legs.
Box turtles have a three – chambered heart compared to mammals that have four – chambers. They also have a renal portal blood system wherein the blood from their hind legs are filtered by their kidneys before it reaches general circulation. This usually means that toxins from their hind limbs are being filtered through their renal organ including drugs that could be injected to them.
It’s also important to know that turtles excrete uric acid as part of their main waste while mammals including humans excrete urea. This allows the turtle to adapt to desert environments where water supply may be limited. Turtles also have a urinary bladder while other reptiles do not.
They also have a receptacle which is also known as cloaca. This is the receiving compartment of their reproductive, urinary and gastrointestinal systems. The cloaca empties externally through the vent on their tail’s surface.
Male turtles generally have a more concave plastron or bottom shell than females. This kind of concavity makes it easier for them during the reproduction process. Male turtles are also generally larger than females and they have a more colorful shell. Males have a longer tail which also serves them a purpose during the mating process. We hope that we answer your question, are box turtles dangerous in this article. Stay tune for more blogs and posts!