Red-eared slider

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The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is a semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae. It is a subspecies of pond slider. It is a native of the southern United States, but has become common in various areas of the world due to the pet trade. They are popular pets in the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Japan, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

Contents

Name

Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red mark around their ear. The "slider" part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly. This species was previously known as Troost's turtle in honor of an American herpetologist; Trachemys scripta troostii is now the scientific name for another subspecies, the Cumberland turtle.

Behavior

Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but leave the water to bask in the sun and lay eggs. These reptiles are deceptively fast and are also decent swimmers. They hunt for prey and will attempt to capture it when the opportunity presents itself. They are aware of predators and people and generally shy away from them. The red-eared slider is known to frantically slide off rocks and logs when approached.

Contrary to the popular misconception that red-eared sliders do not have saliva, they, like most aquatic turtles, have fixed tongues. This is the reason they must eat their food in water.[1][2][3]

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