Animals / Reptiles / Turtles - The Reptiles with Big Shells / Red-Eared Slider - Popular Turtle Pet

Red-Eared Slider - Popular Turtle Pet

red striped head


The most popular and well known domesticated pet turtle in the United States and perhaps the world is the red-eared slider. These are fresh water turtles who live part of their lives in an aquatic environment. They were originally only native to the southern United States - though in recent years they have become an invasive species in other parts of the world, inhabiting ponds outside of their native land. Naturally, their name comes from the red stripe on the sides of their head and their ability to slip off of rocks and fallen trees into water to quickly escape predators or chase prey.





Sliders prefer to spend all of their time under water except to regulate their body temperature by laying in the sun. The only other time sliders like to be out of the water is when it comes time to lay eggs. All of their meals are eaten under water, which they must do because they have no saliva fluid to help aid in mastication (chewing).


undershell slider


Fact: female sliders tend to be slightly larger than males - topping out at around 13 inches (33 cm) where males fall around 3 inches short of that mark. Sliders have a diverse diet, which is part of what makes them so prolific and flexible and able to live in all kinds of new environments. They eat lots of different plant material, but also love to munch on insects, worms, crayfish, tadpoles, snails and even discarded carrion from other predators.


nice green


Part of their popularity as pets is derived from their longevity - sliders can live up to and beyond thirty years, which means they are not only interesting to watch, but will be a friend for life.


slider on a log




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