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Do turtles bite?


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#1 Ambs

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:35 PM

When my turtles were babies I pet them and they loved it they would sleep in my hand and everything....now that they have gotten older (still only 3 inches) they hiss and snap at me. I wasnt sure if they will actually bite me as they havent yet. Do turtles bite? Could it hurt me? I was just surprised at their behavior...its grown a little more agressive as they got older but now I am kind of hesitant to pick them up.....

#2 steve-o

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:08 PM

Alot of the aquatic species such as snappers, sliders, and painteds can and will bite, and they can bite hard too. Boxies and other land dwelling species rarely bite in my experience, but anything is possible.

#3 animalhugger

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:41 PM

my little painted only bites during feeding time. she'll splash the water everywhere and snap at my fingers. ill sometimes let her cuz its funny, but it doesnt hurt cuz shes still tiny ( about 1.5-2 inches) and her mouth cant fit on my finger ****.

#4 Ambs

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:01 PM

Alot of the aquatic species such as snappers, sliders, and painteds can and will bite, and they can bite hard too. Boxies and other land dwelling species rarely bite in my experience, but anything is possible.


Ya I guess I should have mentioned... I have a RES a Map and a Yellow bellied cooter. they are still quite small....but I am just nervous of them as they get older...they warn you of a lot of things in the pet store about size etc but I was never told they bite....I have a new baby right now....is there anything I can do to stop him from biting me in the future?

#5 MouhotiiFan

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:06 PM

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

A male painted turtle did this to me.

Posted Image

Some larger species such as Alligator Snapping Turtles can take your finger right off.

Of course it hurts.

Steve

#6 Batagur

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:07 PM

Anything with a mouth can and will bite....turtles are wild animals and are no exception. There is nothing you can do to stop them from trying to bite. You can not handle them. Or you can handle them in a way that they can't reach around and bite you. But other than that you cannot train them not to bite...it's just something that they do. Never listen to anyone in a pet store. Pet store employees know little to nothing about the animals they sell.

You have either a cooter or a yellow-bellied slider. There are no turtles with the common name yellow-bellied cooter.

#7 Ambs

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:14 PM

Anything with a mouth can and will bite....turtles are wild animals and are no exception. There is nothing you can do to stop them from trying to bite. You can not handle them. Or you can handle them in a way that they can't reach around and bite you. But other than that you cannot train them not to bite...it's just something that they do. Never listen to anyone in a pet store. Pet store employees know little to nothing about the animals they sell.

You have either a cooter or a yellow-bellied slider. There are no turtles with the common name yellow-bellied cooter.



As they get bigger is there a place to hold them where they can't reach your hand? I know they get really big! This place is an aquarium store and they barely sell you the turtle without a million questions about its home and if you have other turtles and the sizes...its like being interrogated, which I think is great as it scares of ppl that don't realise the care turtles require and commitment with their long life span etc. I guess I just didn't know they were that strong that they could bite that hard. What I meant about getting them not to bite I thought maybe they would be less prone to biting if you handle them more when theyre young?

#8 Ambs

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:15 PM

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

A male painted turtle did this to me.

Posted Image

Some larger species such as Alligator Snapping Turtles can take your finger right off.

Of course it hurts.

Steve


That bite is disgusting lol! Thank you for sharing it though...I will have to be more careful I suppose!

#9 Batagur

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:28 PM

What I meant about getting them not to bite I thought maybe they would be less prone to biting if you handle them more when theyre young?


Nope, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Now you can do that and it may help to reduce their tendencies to bite. But if they feel like biting for whatever reason, they're going to do it.

#10 Shashi M.

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:57 PM

Well, my one year old RES munches on just about anything.....he tries to bite when I put my hands in the water to clean his filter but has never bitten me when he's out of the water....I guess its a turtle thing. He bites hard and it hurts but never bites me hard enough to cause bleeding. I've found a way to outsmart him though, whenever I have to put my hands in the water for whatever reason, I gently pick up the little guy and place him on one of his rocks.....he gets confused......its so funny :P. Anyways my other baby RES which is approximately one inch in shell length bites when in the water but it doesnt hurt at all. Yup turtles bite alot.

#11 SliderAngels

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:02 PM

I remember my YBS being so feisty and snappy within the first 2 years. Now that she is used to me or realizes I haven't harmed her ever and treat her with kindness, she loves me. What surprised my mom was I was tickling her neck after those long and harsh 2 years.

As for my RES he is still and I think he always will be fiesty. He hasn't changed at all. I have got bitten by him 3 times.

To give you more info on turtle bites--It can hurt depending where you got bit and how accurate and effective was the bite.

#12 turtlefanatic

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:09 PM

Hmm...neither my RES nor my Painted Turtle are biters. Well, except by accident when I'm feeding them from my hand. :rolleyes: I do handle them often. My rationale is that by doing this, they won't freak out when they HAVE to be handled... for vet visits, for example.

I can only remember one instance when one of my Boxies purposely bit anyone. It was an older female who was having a blood specimen taken by the vet. He had clipped one of her nails, and was squeezing her foot to get some blood out. I think she may have had a little arthritis, and the squeezing hurt her. Without any warning, she latched onto his hand and held on. They had to use forceps to get her to open her mouth. She never bit anyone before, or afterward.

#13 samsmom

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 10:13 PM

Forceps! That's quite a bite!

It must be something about vets; Max (3-toed boxie) spent quite a bit of time at the vet's a few years ago when he (Max) had a sore foot, and when the vet was handling Max, Max would open his mouth wide and wait for an opportunity. Max bit the vet three times. Max is still famous at the vet's office.

#14 thirteenturtles

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:57 AM

I've also found that when the babies get older they get more defensive and some want to bite more than others. What I do is let them bite on my shirt or on a towel. For more persistent biters, I've let them bite all they want on a pencil eraser. It kind of has the same consistancy as a finger, but probably doesn't taste very good. They learn that they're not going to be hurt and that biting isn't all that pleasant. Finally they will quit.

That isn't to say you will never get bitten. I once picked up one of my older male RES and he unexpectedly bit the %$#@ out of me. When I thought back on it, I realized that he was peacefully basking, probably half asleep, and I must have scared him. He never before or never since bit me.

Anyway, try the pencil eraser trick. It really works.

#15 ladybloodrose

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 11:42 AM

ever get someone that asks "oh does it bite?" i get asked that alot.... What i like to say is, well.. it has a mouth, an weither ithas teeth or not, yea it can bite ;0 sometimes it might pinch an sometimes it cuts. But all animals bite ;)

#16 Mis4Monopoly

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 12:27 PM

Everyone here is right. Turtles can and do bite. That doesn't mean that all of them will bite you, but there's the potential of getting bit when you handle any turtle.




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