Are terrapins aggressive?

Ongoing terrapin careTerrapins are basically calm and quiet and do not make any sound to express their feelings. But, at time they may become aggressive.

Even certain behavior of the owner or the handler can agitate them too.

As a matter of fact the characteristics differ in different species of terrapins.

Terrapins are reptiles with strong beaks and sharp claws. They are able to inflict painful scratches and bites to the person holding and trying to feed it.

In self-defense, terrapins generally retract into their shell when they smell any danger. This keeps them mostly safe against the predators. Sometimes they may even hide themselves under the mud or rock before the predator attacks. But can show aggression also if needed.

Terrapins can adopt any change of environment but initially may remain within the shell for a couple of days and gradually start to recognize you. Taming is needed to avoid bites while feeding them.

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When threatened, a terrapin may become aggressive and handling at that point should be done very carefully. Beware; it may give a nasty bite on your finger. Terrapins possess a pair of strong toothless jaws and hence it is always better to wear protective gloves while holding a terrapin.

Occasional touches along with a treat of favorite foods can give positive results. Just use your thumb and index finger, hold the food (fish or other things) at the surface of the water, wait and watch your terrapin to snatch it from your hand. After a few days it will start recognizing you.

Occasionally the bigger terrapins become more aggressive and start fighting with another one. The aggressor charges from the opposite and diagonally. It rams with the shell of another terrapin or bites on the necks or legs.

Sometimes they do it before mating to woo the female and such aggressions can lead to serious injuries too. A wounded terrapins should be given medication immediately to avoid severe or fatal infections.

In spite of the occasional aggression, terrapins are extraordinary and interesting creatures as pets. You need to look after and take proper care to avoid injuries and ailments. A veterinary doctor should be consulted whenever necessary.

Terrapins live long and as a pet it can give you the extra privilege. You may enjoy your pet terrapin’s company for a long time. Learn more about them by studying their behavior in your vivarium.