We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Red Eared Turtles?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Red eared turtles, also known as red eared sliders, are semi-aquatic turtles native to the American South where they are widely distributed. These turtles have also reached other regions of the world, thanks to their popularity as pets. Some pet stores offer red eared turtles, and they are also available directly through breeders. For people considering a turtle as a pet, it's important to remember that a turtle is a lot of work.

These turtles can grow up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in length, with distinctive red markings on the side of their heads where one might expect an ear to reside. They spend much of their lives in the water, surfacing to bask in the sun and lay eggs, and many red eared turtles are relatively solitary. They can become quite aggressive about defense of their habitat, and they are famously very fast, especially when they spot potential prey. The “slider” in their alternate name is a reference to the way in which these turtles can glide effortlessly off rocks to enter the water.

Red eared turtles eat an omnivorous diet which consists of almost anything they can harvest or catch. Small fish, insects, and slugs are all potential prey, while various aquatic and semiaquatic plants are also popular with red eared sliders. The population of red eared turtles is very stable in the wild, and they are a familiar sight along many Southern waterways.

People who keep red eared turtles as pets should be prepared to pay for a large aquarium which provides enough room for the turtle to swim and play, as well as provide a basking space out of the water. Red eared turtles need warm water to swim in, and a warm environment with lots of ultraviolet (UV) light, which usually requires special lamps. It is also important that their water be kept clean with the use of good filtration systems. These turtles also need a varied diet with lots of calcium to enrich their shells.

In addition to requiring special equipment, red eared turtles also need some special handling. They, like many turtle species, carry salmonella bacteria. The turtles do not seem to be unduly distressed by the presence of the bacteria, but it can pose an infection risk to human handlers. It is important to wash thoroughly after handling a red eared slider and cleaning its enclosure. Because of the salmonella issue and the level of care needed, red eared turtles do not make great pets for young children.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.