How can I tell the age of the red eared slider turtle?

Answer

This can be a little difficult to do if you don't know when your turtle was hatched and it is not an exact science. It is worth noting that by the time a red eared slider is legally able to be purchased in a pet store, it is likely about two years of age.

In general, you can estimate a red-eared slider turtle's age by their size and coloring.

Under 6 months of age:

- Shell is less than 4 inches in length.

- Very bright coloring.

- Kelly green colored shell with some yellow markings.

6-12 Months of age:

- Shell is less than 4 inches in length.

- Slightly less intense coloring.

1-2 Years of age:

- Shell is less than 4 inches in length.

- Bright colors have now faded to a darker olive hue.

2-3 Years of age:

- Shell is between 4 to 6 inches in length.

- Claws and tails on males will be extra sharp.

- The turtle's colors will darken.

- The "red ears" on the slider turtle will fade or disappear.

- Shell will turn a brownish or ochre color.

3-4 Years of age:

- Shell is between 6 to 8 inches in length.

- Males claws will be slightly shorter.

- Shell is a brownish or ochre color.

Over 4 years of age:

- Shell is between 8 to 13 inches (or more) in length.

- Males claws will continue to shorten.

- Shell is a brownish or ochre color.

After about the age of four, it is nearly impossible to estimate the age with any accuracy. At this point, the turtle is done developing and goes through much less obvious changes.

Updated on August 13, 2018

Original Article:

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Care: Tank Setup, Feeding, and Upkeep
By Kate Daily
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