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Pet Tortoise:

Tortoises are considered to be very exotic pets in that they can present quite a challenge due to their sheer size and dietary habits.

A tortoise will live for as long as 200 years and will usually outlive a number of masters during its own lifetime. The animals also vary in size, depending substantially on factors such as their age, the kind of tortoise it is as well as genetic factors.

While some pet tortoise’s maybe no bigger than a few inches long, others may be as big as a couple of feet. Just like with any captive animal, the best living conditions for the pet would be to replicate their natural environment.

Pet tortoises are best kept in outdoor pens that feature a climate similar to their natural environment – meaning that any tortoises that are from arid areas may require arid climates while those that are from tropical areas may require the same kind of climate. If you choose to house your pet tortoise indoors, a glass tank is not the best option as the tortoise requires a lot of floor space to allow it to roam around freely. Studies of the animal have also shown that tortoises seem to feel too exposed in transparent structures and are also often seen trying to push through the glass walls. The best kind of housing would be to construct a shallow wooden enclosure that contains some amount of water and is lit up by ultraviolet lighting suspended above the tank in order to provide the essential light and heat.

From the ages of being a baby tortoise right up to adult hood, the tortoise is unlikely to be a very affectionate pet and may even seem to be very aloof at times. This is primarily because of the fact that the tortoise leads a solitary life in its natural surroundings. Be very careful when picking out a couple of tortoises as two males will normally not get along when put together in the same tank.

Since most pet tortoises are herbivores, they feed primarily on leafy greens, flowers, grazing grasses and weeds. Certain types of tortoise may even occasionally consume worms or insects, but avoid feeding the animal too much protein as this could cause shell deformation as well as other medical problems.  It is also important to note that, while an adult tortoise can live on the incorrect diet for a number of years, a baby tortoise is likely to be more significantly and rapidly affected by the incorrect balance of required elements.
  Submitted on July 13, 2010  

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