An Alphabet Of Things I like: T

Tortoises.

The smaller breeds of tortoise are very popular as pets. Slow-moving, easy to feed, and long-living. Many families, including mine, have kept a pet tortoise, or more than one. But that doesn’t mean to say we should keep them of course, as they are never truly domesticated.

In some countries, they are called turtles, because they are in the same animal family. As this graphic explains.

In far-flung places like the Galapagos Islands, giant tortoises can grow to an enormous size. In the past, they were hunted for their meat, and also for their shells.

I understand that they are no longer so popular as pets, and that is a good thing. Hopefully, they can be left alone to live their lives naturally.

47 thoughts on “An Alphabet Of Things I like: T

  1. I remember reading about turtle soup and how popular it became in England in the mid XVIII century, to the point where it was decimated and became very expensive. Thankfully at least it is no longer popular, as a dish or as pets. They are fascinating animals. I’m not sure what my favourite choice for the letter T would be, but I like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love turtles and mostly see them in or near water. I especially love seeing the beautiful sea turtles on the beaches of Hawaii! I’m not sure whether we have tortoises here in Washington, at least not the giant varieties which I’ve only seen at the zoo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are lucky to be able to see sea turtles. We don’t have them here. All the tortoises are imported too, mostly from countries like Turkey and Tunisia. Strictly speaking, they are banned from importation since 1984, and are supposed to be bred here. But there is a very large illegal trade.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife and I were walking through a vineyard in Napa Valley a year ago and came across a giant Tortoise making its way slowly through the vines…agree that we need to leave them alone and support their survival!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thought of getting a tortoise as a pet but realised it would always beat me in a race 🤣🤣
    Great diagram now I know the difference between tortoise and turtle, I had never really thought about it until now, thanks Pete

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here in the Mojave Desert, we have the desert tortoise. They spend very little time outside of their burrows. As a result, it’s rare to see one on a hike. However, we’ve had the good fortune to see a few of them over the years. We’ve seen desert tortoises of all ages, and once had the opportunity to admire a baby desert tortoise in Red Rock Canyon. It was incredibly tiny, and we wondered how it could possibly survive on its own. It’s illegal to touch a desert tortoise because the species is considered vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A random fact for you–my husband was once the turtle inspector for the State of Louisiana. His job was to go around to turtle farms around the state and check for salmonella which was getting a lot of little kids sick when they bought those little turtles. He said you have no idea of the characters who operate turtle farms. Apparently they often also raise alligators.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine the owners of turtle farms care little for the creatures, or those who buy them. Salmonella is also a problem when keeping the small turtles known here as ‘terrapins’. Cleaning the tanks has to be rigorous.
      I hope your husband had a good badge? I would love to see a badge with ‘State Turtle Inspector’ on it! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    1. I read that there are more big cats in captivity in America than still live in the wild in Africa and India.
      I am inclined to believe that is true, Kim. It’s just macho nonsense, and should be banned.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. When I was little we kept a few miniature turtles as pets. Now that I think about it, I believe it was inhumane, and I prefer to let them live in their natural habitat. They’re such interesting and unique creations! My kids loved watching the cartoon Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were young, “cowabunga” was a common phrase, C

    Liked by 2 people

  8. One time I visited the zoo and there was a turtle there that kept following me. It was so incredibly endearing. I couldn’t break away from it, and spend almost an hour there.
    I love these gentle animals, they are absolutely amazing, and I agree, these aren’t pets, that’s so true! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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