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Help! Fighting Three-toed Turtles! Blood!


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Posted by nathana on April 30, 2003 at 13:49:29:

In Reply to: Help! Fighting Three-toed Turtles! Blood! posted by OldTime on April 30, 2003 at 12:54:05:

box turtles do not grow long nails as part of sex traits. They should be short if worn down normally by digging and walking on rough surfaces, etc. If excessively long, you might consider trimming them or having them trimmed.

Three-toeds are the hardest of the north american box turtles to sex (in my opinion), mainly with specific individuals. Their plastral depressions are often very slight, males have the smallest tails (on average) of the north american boxies, and females can sometimes be colorful. Females don't get the full bright red eyes that males can (in my opinion), but I do have one female with reddish brown eyes.

Fighting is not something you can control. Two males can get along fabulously for years and suddenly decide not to tolerate each other and even fight to the death (from injuries, stress, or actual killing). The best you can do is house them separately, and try re-introducing them later. Perhaps a divider in the pen so they each have a side, then you can just remove the divider later and observe.

My three-toed males have to be watched and checked for injury every spring, they used to battle more frequently but now they mainly just thump each other a bit and head off in separate directions. I have easterns, though, and as many people have noticed, easterns will fight non-stop sometimes. They seem to hold grudges longer than three-toeds and be even more vicious about the battles.


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