How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)
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How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)

How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)

Many turtle lovers want to get full-fledged offspring from their wards, but reptiles rarely breed in captivity. And although puberty occurs at 5-6 years old, the turtle does not seek to acquire offspring. But the instincts of animals are preserved outside the natural environment, so by creating the right conditions, you can get a whole family of little turtles.

How to find out the sex of a turtle?

Reptiles have weak sexual dimorphism, so at first glance it is quite difficult to distinguish a male from a female. But there are some features that give out gender:

  • in the male, the plastron is slightly concave in the back of the body;
  • the male has a longer tail, wide at the base;
  • the male has stiffer and longer claws on the limbs;
  • in most species, the female is larger.

The color of the body of the male and female can be exactly the same, and the color of the eyes is sometimes different. So, in box turtles, males have red eyes, while females have a yellowish-brown tint.

Note: To get offspring in captivity, you need to plant a male and a couple of females in one terrarium to increase the likelihood of fertilization. With a large number of individuals, fights arise between males for the best female.

Marriage advances

The male shows more interest in the opposite sex if his chosen one is won in battles. During the period of sexual activity, turtles show great mobility; it would be reckless to call them silent and slow creatures.

During the mating season, the male, seeing the object of “his admiration”, pulls his head out of the shell and swings it up and down, demonstrating his loyalty and favor. Then he approaches the female and beats his head against the shell, biting its edges, trying to touch her head. Sometimes bites the chosen one by the paws.

When caring for the fair sex, the male usually makes sounds reminiscent of the yapping of a puppy. The female can answer him with a calling “singing”. If she tries to evade her conjugal duty, then the male bites her paws until she obeys and accepts him.

How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)

In sea turtles, the courtship ritual is somewhat different: the male swims up to the chosen companion and tickles her neck with the claws of his front paws or hits her with his shell, showing his location. Marriage games can last for several days.

How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)

This is interesting: During turtle fights, males behave aggressively and fight to the death. The result may be the death of the weakest opponent.

Video: mating games of red-eared turtles

Mating reptiles in nature

Turtles mate in nature if environmental conditions are right. The presence of the warm rays of the sun, the beginning of spring, the increase in daylight hours, the abundance of food causes the release of sex hormones into the blood, which brings the reptiles into a state of “combat readiness”. In sea turtles, the process of flirting and copulation takes place in the aquatic environment.

Sexual intercourse usually proceeds as follows:

  1. The male crawls (swims up) to the female from behind and partially climbs onto her back.
  2. He puts his tail under the body, directing the genital organ into the cloaca of the female.
  3. The male makes rhythmic movements and calls during mating.
  4. Sexual intercourse lasts about 2-5 minutes, but if the male is not sure of the result, he repeats his actions a couple more times for reliability.
  5. When copulation is over, the male lets out a cry of victory, in response, faint sounds made by the female can be heard.

This is interesting: European species are characterized by “hard sex”, bordering on violence. The male behaves rudely, repeatedly hitting the shell of the chosen one and biting her paws with force. If she runs away from him, he catches up and continues to bite, expecting complete obedience.

Elephant (Galapagos) land turtles are the largest representatives of this order on Earth. One male weighs as much as four adult males. The life expectancy of giants is 100 years, and they reach sexual maturity by 10-20 years. The male is larger than the female and makes harsh sounds during mating, sticking out his tongue and salivating. Despite regular fertilization, she brings offspring once every 10 years, and usually no more than 22 eggs in a clutch.

Video: mating elephant turtles

Mating land turtles in captivity

At home, reptiles rarely breed. For this, conditions close to natural must be created. If the animals feel comfortable and the food is high enough in calories, then most often they copulate from February to May, but any time of the year can be suitable.

You can stimulate the desire to make “love” by planting a couple of males in the terrarium. The fight for the female leads them into a state of sexual arousal, which increases the desire to mate. Although this is a dangerous technique that can lead to the death of one of the partners.

It is better if the process takes place on the territory of the female, where the male needs to be planted. In his living space, he behaves more aggressively and can injure the chosen one. After fertilization, he becomes angry and cruel towards the “future mother”, so the pregnant turtle needs to be placed in another enclosure.

Note: The pregnancy of a turtle lasts two months, the same amount of time is required for maturation in the eggs of the embryos. To breed, the turtle must eat well, she needs to make a nest. Separately create an incubator where the eggs will ripen. All this requires certain knowledge and skills.

Video: mating of Central Asian tortoises

Mating aquatic turtles in captivity

The female, ready for breeding, behaves restlessly, often refuses to eat. To mate reptiles, they must be placed in a separate aquarium with a water temperature of +25C. After the ritual of flirting and mating games, the female is fertilized in the water.

During mating and mating, animals should not be disturbed by unnecessary sounds, picked up, or brightly illuminated in the aquarium. Reptiles should not feel any vibrations. Turtles mate for 5-15 minutes, and the whole process takes place in the aquatic environment.

Sperm is stored in the female genital tract for up to 2 years, which allows it to be used sparingly: the reserve is enough for 5-6 egg layings. The orgasm of the male turtle is obvious, its external manifestations can be seen on the video. Carried away by an interesting process, he can press his chosen one to the bottom, which makes it impossible for her to breathe. This must be taken into account when pouring water into the aquarium no deeper than 10 cm.

How turtles mate: features of sexual intercourse in marine and land species (video)

Then the female bears offspring, trying to choose a convenient place for creating masonry. At home, one clutch consists of 2-6 eggs, which are taken to the incubator, where after another 2 months little turtles are born. They should not be helped to get out of the shell, they must do it on their own.

The process of mating turtles in captivity is not easy and requires a competent, professional approach. With careful attention to your pets, four months after fertilization, cute “babies” will appear from the eggs and the number of favorite reptiles will increase significantly.

Video: water turtle mating

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