Animal Information

Baby Softshell Turtles Just Out Of The Incubator!

These Softshell Turtles are reptiles that will live for more than 20 years in the wild, and 30+ years in captivity.  They are primarily aquatic and would spend most of the time in the water. However, they are equally adept at both land and water and have the ability to move like a super predator in both.

When on land, they are often seen buried in the soft mud or under sand in and around their habitat. While basking, they rest upon floating vegetation, logs, or in the muddy banks. These creatures hunt and chase down prey. Scavenging is also a part of their eating habits. At times, they have been seen burying themselves under sand with their heads exposed and attack unsuspecting prey when it comes within their reach.

There is very little data about the mating habits of these specific reptiles. It is not that hatching these eggs were particularly hard. More likely the lack of data is just because these reptiles are pretty elusive all but for the breeding season.

In the State Of Florida, you are not allowed to touch softshell turtles from May 01 thru July 31. There are no exceptions. If you hit one with your car, the state wants you to leave them alone and let nature happen. In southern Florida, the time of nesting is between mid-March and July, while in further North, it is between June and July.

We do not want to debate that today because there is no changing these regulations. As part of our conservation efforts, a percentage of these turtles hatching in this video will be released into Floridas wild.

In a single season, our single female can nest 2-7 times and is able to produce almost 225 eggs each year. This count is more than almost any other species of reptiles. females lay 10–30 eggs at a time. Surprisingly, these interesting turtles are known to use newly-constructed nests made by the alligators in order to take advantage of the protective supervision of the female alligator.

There is no exact number of days written when The Florida Soft-shell Turtle (Apalone ferox) incubation time. The hatchlings hatch out in 2–3 months and are about 1.25 inches in size. Our eggs hatched out in an 82-degree room in exactly 60 days.

These baby turtles are interesting because they have bright patterns all over. They have gray spots on an olive-yellow base, and have orange and yellow marks on their heads, with their carapace having a yellow outline. However, as the juveniles start aging, they begin losing these colorations. The young reptiles need to stay hidden as much as possible since they make an ideal meal for many predators. Once the female leaves the site of the nest, there is no further parental care in the eggs or the young.

How To Care For Baby Softshell

Because soft-shelled turtles can be aggressive, you should not put them in tanks with other turtles or animals. Sometimes they can live in pairs, but only with enough space and minimal bullying. It is probably best to have just one softshell turtle living in the tank.

In this video, you can see we house these very young babies together. We will only do this for a few months. We keep small minnows in the enclosure and we feed Mazuri Turtle Pellets, brine shrimp, red and black worms, and a various number of live foods. These babies are a part of the Crazy Critters Inc. Conservation Program. They will all be released into the Florida wild.

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