Hi. I’m Tim Cole with the Austin Reptile Service,
and I’ve got over forty years in keeping reptiles and amphibians. I want to talk to you about
aging turtles. To be honest with you, unless you’ve raised it up from a baby or the person
you got it from has, you’re going to be very hard pressed to age a turtle. Now, turtles
do have rings around their shell, which people thought they could count, and for each ring
would equal a year. But that’s not true, because some turtles have growth spurts. They might
form more than one ring a year. They might even form less. Our large land tortoises have
been known to live over 200 years. Our box turtles can live fifty to seventy-five years.
Our water turtles probably average twenty, thirty years of age. So, you really can’t
tell the age by the appearance of the turtle. You might be able to get a good guess, especially
if the turtle shell is very worn. Box turtles and tortoises spend a lot of times underground,
so they wear their shell down quite a bit.