Are Turtles Aggressive
If you own pets and have ever interacted with them, then you know that they can be very gentle or extremely fierce.
Pet dogs may wag their tails at your approach while snakes tend not to move even when prodded.
However, there is one type of animal that has the ability to turn from friendliness to aggression in an instant – without any warning signals.
That’s right, I’m talking about our favorite reptile friends, the humble pet turtle!
Although we all enjoy watching turtles scuttle across ponds or swim through rivers, many people don’t realize what these amazing creatures really do under the surface.
In fact, it was once thought by some scientists that turtles were actually cold-blooded reptiles rather than warm ones like most other animals on land.
In this article we’re going to talk about the temperament of turtles
Are they friendly?
Can they be aggressive to humans?
Carry on reading to find out!
Are turtles aggressive to humans?
Well first off, it should come as no surprise that turtles can become quite violent towards anyone who dares to harm them.
If someone gets too close to a turtle while trying to catch a glimpse of it swimming through a pond, for example, the turtle might lash out and cause physical injury.
You see turtles possess strong front claws located near their head regions which act as defensive weapons against predators.
When confronted with danger, turtles instinctively pull their claws straight down toward the ground and quickly retract them again because in nature, turtles always run away from enemies instead of fighting them.
Also, since turtles spend most of their time basking in the sun, they often roll themselves into tight balls to protect their vulnerable backsides from harmful rays.
When cornered, turtles have the tendency to strike out blindly with their sharp claws using them as makeshift spears.
While all of these actions might seem aggressive to humans, they’re nothing more than self defense mechanisms designed to help turtles survive.
Fortunately, pet owners shouldn’t worry too much about their turtles turning on them either.
Just remember that turtles prefer spending most of their days cooped up inside small containers filled with water so it’s easy to imagine why they’d react negatively to strangers invading their territory.
Are turtles human friendly?
As stated previously, turtles are known to live for centuries whereas humans typically die far sooner.
Therefore, it seems unfair that turtles are perceived by some as cruel monsters capable of inflicting pain and suffering on innocent victims.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Not only do turtles display kindness towards members of their own species, they also demonstrate compassion towards people whom they consider to be family members.
For instance, baby turtles hatch from eggs laid by their mothers and stay with them for roughly six months before heading off to search for food on their own.
During this period, mother turtles take care of the babies 24 hrs a day and serve as surrogate parents helping them develop their survival instincts.
Once the young turtles reach maturity, they leave their moms and dads behind in order to start building new lives somewhere else.
Of course, this scenario changes somewhat depending on the specific variety of turtles involved.
For instance, green river turtles are famous for nesting together in a single area and mating freely amongst one another regardless of gender.
Green river turtles are commonly kept as indoor aquarium inhabitants and are believed to be more tolerant of captivity than most other species of turtles.
One of the main reasons why captive green river turtles adapt better to life indoors is probably related to the fact that they experience regular access to food supplies.
Many pet owners who own these turtles report that they rarely interact with them unless they accidentally bump into the tank housing and knock something over resulting in broken glass fragments scattered everywhere.
Even then, however, they generally respond by retreating back inside their tanks to avoid contact with the shards.
Finally, Asian giant softshell turtles are said to be among the world’s largest freshwater turtles weighing anywhere between 80 lbs to 200+ lbs.
Adult males measure approximately 12 feet in length while females are slightly shorter measuring 9 feet tall at best.
Like other turtles, AGGSOSHI retreat underground for safety purposes at nighttime and choose to remain beneath the sand floor where they spend most of their waking hours.
Despite their massive size and intimidating appearance, AGGSOSHIs are surprisingly friendly towards humans and their families.
In particular, they exhibit affectionate tendencies by gently opening their huge eyes wide and gazing at humans standing nearby.
They also appear to communicate with sounds and movements of their tongues showing appreciation towards loved ones with a smile.
Are all turtles aggressive?
There are different kinds of turtles out there ranging from freshwater varieties to saltwater sea turtles.
Some of these aquatic reptiles have large bodies and powerful jaws that allow them to swallow prey larger than their stomachs.
Other turtles hide behind rocks throughout the day waiting patiently for their mealtime to arrive.
Now, although certain turtles might exhibit signs of aggression when threatened, this doesn’t automatically apply to other non-violent species of turtles.
Take softshell turtles (Glyphis hispida), for instance.
These peaceful creatures resemble common garden tortoises except for their pink coloration and smooth shell covering their entire upper portion.
Softshell turtles usually reside outdoors during daylight hours where they graze on vegetation and rest peacefully hidden among leaves and branches.
At nightfall however, they’ll crawl inside their protective shelters made of mud, grass clippings, sticks, and leaf litter.
Unlike other turtles, softshell turtles don’t mind sharing their shelter space with other individuals especially if they happen to be female.
On occasion though, male softshell turtles might try to mate with females residing in separate areas and thus create territorial disputes.
Nevertheless, softshell turtles never show any sign of hostility towards humans and are rarely seen attacking other animals.
Another kind of turtle that tends not to attack others is the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta).
Painted turtles are native to North America where they reside along streambeds eating snails, worms, frogs, slugs, insects, and smaller amphibians.
They occasionally feed upon fish and crustaceans but they always return to streams after feasting.
Most people who encounter a painted turtle outside of their natural habitat believe them to be shy and docile creatures but they’ve recently proven otherwise following an incident involving a Florida woman named Kelli Lunsford.
Ms. Lunsford had taken her three year old daughter to a local park in August 2005 where she noticed several wild turtles crossing paths and climbing trees nearby.
Once the little girl got closer to the scene, however, the turtles suddenly attacked them resulting in serious injuries including cuts, bruises, and deep puncture wounds.
According to witnesses, Ms. Lunsford appeared upset yet calm enough to continue walking around without any assistance.
Later investigation proved that the turtles responsible for the attacks were three adult Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) owned by Mr. John Hogue who happened to be passing by at the exact moment of the assault.
He immediately took custody of the injured children and later explained to police officers that he knew exactly what he was doing when he decided to set free the box turtles to fend off intruders.
Apparently, Mr. Hogue owns multiple boxes of exotic pets and believes that keeping turtles indoors isn’t sufficient protection against predators.
Luckily, the case didn’t result in any legal action against him.