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Facts about turtles

Penny Turtles and Other Myths

One of the questions our reptile department is most frequently asked is whether we have penny turtles. The answer is no as penny turtles do not exist.  What used to be called penny turtles are simply immature Murray short-neck turtles or eastern long-neck turtles. 

While these turtles start small they grow to about the size of a dinner plate. Turtles can live for a very long time and need a great deal of care. They make great pets but are not suitable for a beginner.

Here are 10 fast facts about turtles you may not have known.

  1. A turtle can live up to 60 years.
  2. Turtles eat crickets and woodies.
  3. They prefer their own company and don’t always play well with other turtles.
  4. The lower shell on a turtle is called a plastron.
  5. The shell is actually a modified spine and ribs.
  6. Turtle shells have nerves and blood vessels in them. A turtle can feel pain if its shell is damaged.
  7. Turtles have a good sense of smell and use it to tell the males from females.
  8. A long-necked turtle’s neck can be 60% the length of its shell.
  9. Long-neck turtles use a foul smell as a defence.
  10. Turtles need sunlight or UV light to keep their shells hard.