I have (well HAD) 2 red-eared sliders which I purchased at the same time. They were both the same size at first, but one took an instant growth spurt. It became 3-4 times bigger than the other. Today, I found pieces of shell and body parts in my aquarium and no smaller turtle. Is it possible that my larger turtle killed and ate the smaller one? Is this normal? I'm petrified!!!
1 2
I have (well HAD) 2 red-eared sliders which I purchased at the same time. They were both the same size ... smaller turtle. Is it possible that my larger turtle killed and ate the smaller one? Is this normal? I'm petrified!!!

Omnivores will be omnivores...
-Z
I have (well HAD) 2 red-eared sliders which I purchased at the >same time.They were both the same size at first, but one took an instant growth >spurt.It became 3-4 times bigger than the other.

One turtle was dominant to the other and ate most of the food so that's why it became 3-4 times bigger than the other
It may have killed the other because they were both going for the same piece of food. The smaller one may have been so hungry because of the bigger one eating all the food that it grabbed a piece of food that the bigger turtle was eating and the bigger turtle chewed on it as a result. I've seen tiny baby turtles grab food from much bigger turtles. One baby that was about 1.5inches (you could still buy Red eared sliders in Ireland at that time) grabbed a piece of meat that was in the bigger turtle's (a 7incher) mouth and began to swim backwards dragging the bigger turtle halfway across the tank.
It may be that you had two males. Males can fight and the bigger turtle may have seen the smaller turtle as a potential rival and attacked it
"Grainne Gillespie" Males can fight and the bigger turtle may
have seen the smaller turtle as a potential rival and attacked it

Turtles are the most passive and social of the reptiles. The only time they get mildly agressive is going after the same food and that is a case of competitive energy. Turtles are not vindictive or territorial at all, they love to stack on top of each other to get sun, they often ride on each other while swimming for a few seconds, if anything they are playful with each other.
I believe what really happened is the smaller victim-turtle died of starvation or soft-shell disease. Then perhaps the bigger turtle ate the bits after they rotted for a couple of days and got very soft.

More than likely the *** who was keeping the turtles did not actually notice what happened until a few days later, and he probably only fed his turtles once a week or whenever he remembered. Keep in mind that for one 4 inch turtle to eat a 1-2 inch turtle is not very easy. The turtle skin is not easy to chew, and a small 4 inch turtle would really have to work at it (due to starvation) to munch apart another turtle. Over the 40 years I have kept turtles, I have found dead baby turtles in an Aquarium and I have never seen one chewed apart. But then I actually check my pets every day and usually more often when I have the time to watch them at play.
"Grainne Gillespie" Males can fight and the bigger turtle may

have seen the smaller turtle as a potential rival and attacked it

Turtles are the most passive and social of the reptiles. The only time they get mildly agressive is going after the same food and that is a case of competitive energy.

I'm sorry, but you are very wrong. Having raised spotted, wood, painted, box, and other species in outdoor enclosures, my observation is that turtles have complex social systems. This includes territorialism for prefered basking sites, social structure (pecking order) among both sexes and lots of other social interactions that can cause stress and even death to individuals that do not fit into the social structure. Males of the Clemmys group certainly do fight, often violently. I have had to remove individual male spotted turtles from my colony because they were just too darn agressive all the time. Some smaller males exposed to such agressive individuals, even in large enclosures, will fail to thrive, sicken and die if the situation is not changed.
Turtles are not vindictive or territorial at all, they
love to stack on top of each other to get sun, they often ride on each other while swimming for a few seconds, if anything they are playful with each other.

Even turtles that stack on each other have a 'stacking order' of who gets what spot. A turtle attempting to change that order will cause the whole pile to collapse and restructure. Scare a bunch of wild basking turtles off a log sometime and take the time to watch them regroup. Certain turtles will almost always get the same prefered basking spot over and over again.
I believe what really happened is the smaller victim-turtle died of starvation or soft-shell disease. Then perhaps the bigger turtle ... actually check my pets every day and usually more often when I have the time to watch them at play.

Joe Z.

"Freedom begins between the ears."
Edward Abbey
"Which ever way your pleasure tends,
if you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind"
Hunter
"Joe Zawadowski" Having raised spotted, wood, painted,
box, and other species in outdoor enclosures, my observation is that turtles have complex social systems. >>

I do not disagree with you. As I have not had any Box Turtles in about 15 years, I really am not an expert on the subject. I think Box Turtles have a lot of psychological differences compared to aquatic turtles. I found them to be harder to keep entertained in the sense that I think that they are more demanding in terms of habitat and psychological stimulation.

Regarding Territoriality, keep in mind that Territoriality in a body of water is probably more along the lines of being a state of mind and not something that a turtle can really "mark."
As far as Stacking Order is concerned, I agree with you, but A) some shells are easier to climb onto than others; and B) while the Turtles may disperse and then climb back onto each other a few times until each stackee is satisfied with the stacking order; I have always seen this more along the line of "THREE STOOGES" shennanigans than actual hostility. Your observation is going to compel me take a closer look at the little fellers.

However, in regards to the instant case of the two turtles who were purchased at the same small "infant" size, and kept together; I think that the facts really indicate Pet Neglect (or Cruelty) more than anything else. Of course, since none of us were there when the little critter passed away, who can really say what happened?
Hopefully the human critter that purchased the turtles will give the survivor to a responsible acquaintance and replace it with a Pet Rock.
All this is really interesting to me as although you know (and know and know in the case of those who post here often) that I've had a rescued and then RErescued by me box turtle, Nameless, for over 14 years now, a 'wellmeaning' lady came to visit about two weeks ago, one of those who raises incorrigible children in packs and wanted for some unknown reason to tell me all about how to keep my dogs better..I am not claiming that all my years of experience and the history thereof makes me an expert but dogkeeping is one of my premiere and few skills..she spotted Nameless.

Now I will tell you that I do not keep Nameless 'well'. He is by a window, where he gets muted sunlight, with a tank that's too small for his optimum desires but a basking rock, appropriate lighting when the season calls for it, he's an indoor guy, gets calcium on his food, and the more than occasional pinkie pair to spice it up for him, clean water, and lots of attention. She was horrified. I mean, horrified. Finally I got her out of my house; she'd come over to collect a donation of clothing I had to give away to a charity she represents.
Later she phoned me and announced that 'she'd be over to pick up my poor box turtle' as she knew a woman who had a 50 foot pond and double digit turtles and mine would fit in fine, in a lovely enclosed garden area where they could get in and out of the water and naturally hibernate in the garden come winter. We're in Pennsylvania. I was outraged. I told her to call the Public Health Authorities if she felt I was mistreating my pristinely kept, cleareyed, healthyshelled lively old turtle, and to leaved me alone. I take it she took that as a NO. Told me 'SHAME SHAME ON YOU!"
It's been 40 years since anyone said that to me; I think it was my mother, for crayoning on the wall.
I have as yet not heard from the Board of Animal Welfare.

You mean, turtles have a society and adding my box to the multiple box turtles this savior of a lady found expressly for me had might have ended in disaster?
Nameless will just have to continue suffering along as he has been for, it'll be fifteen years this January.
Good God, Barbara, next time just dump your donation in a Salvation Army box..you don't want to let do-gooders within 100 yards of your house!

Cindy
a 'wellmeaning' lady came to visit about two weeks ago, one of those who raises incorrigible children in packs

Hee Hee.
-Z
Show more