I just want to let the thousands of people who are reblogging this cute picture know that this species of turtle (the Red-eared slider) does not make a very good pet. The sale of sliders at the size depicted above was made illegal in 1975 because Red-eared sliders very often carry salmonella which is pretty intolerable for adults and can be deadly to children. If the turtles pictured above are kept in that bowl then they probably are having a pretty rough time because Red-eared sliders need a dry area to bask as well as water that is twice as deep as they are long- otherwise they’ll hit their head every time they go to dive.
Also, the Red-eared slider is originally native to the Mississippi river area and is an invasive species throughout the world. Indigenous populations of the Painted Turtle in New Jersey and the European Pond Turtle in Spain are thought to have been damaged by the invasive Red-eared slider. The Red-eared slider is a fairly hardy species of turtle (why they’re often sold as pets) and it tends to edge out the competition.
That being said, Red-eared sliders are actually very hard to keep- I know from experience. They need a heat lamp that gives off both UVB and UVA light, a calcium block, when they’re young they need live meat in their diet, and a 50 gallon tank which has to be changed once a month. Although they start out small like the little cuties depicted above, healthy Red-eared sliders will grow to be about a foot in length and live to be around 35. However, most people’s sliders only live to be about two years old. This is because of soft-shell AKA when their shells slowly implode and crush their internal organs due to a lack of UVB, UVA and calcium. It’s a long and drawn out way to go and most people don’t think much of it because they are such a small animal.
Red-eared sliders are fun to watch in the tank but also pretty messy, smell kind of bad, and they tend to dive off of their basking dock as soon as you walk in the room. I had two males in my tank and they became violently territorial with one another once they got a little bigger.
In closing, please take these factors into serious consideration before deciding to keep Red-eared sliders as pets. You don’t have to believe my explanation as to why; do your own research before choosing to bring a Red-eared slider into your home.
WHAT I DID WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING MY ECOLOGY PAPERS pt. 1
Yesterday I was trying to drown my sorrows in comics at the comic book store but there was nothing that I was really ready to fork over three bucks for. I got a text on my phone that said there was a barbecue at the house I’ve been crashing at. I bought the new issue of Secret Avengers and drove back to the house. On the way I blared a chopped and screwed version of Ride by Ciara and screamed along angry and crying a little bit.
Earlier that day I’d gone to the pet store at the mall because I wanted to see what they were doing in there. They let me play with a $1600 pug puppy for ten minutes and I sang her Running up that Hill by Kate Bush. The puppy had a lot of energy and sat in my lap pretty good but she was sneezing a bit. The people there said she came from a breeder and showed me all her paperwork and things looked legit. It was one of those things I did because I wanted to know more about what I think tends to be a fucked up situation (pet stores that sell dogs) but also because I wanted to cuddle with a puppy. Sometimes I wonder if that’s sort of the nature of some of the stuff I did in South America. I think it’s really fucked up that people keep monkeys as pets and so I go to South America and take care of monkeys like they were pets, and then I try to show people that they shouldn’t keep monkeys as pets because they’re smart, incredible, potentially loving creatures which is why they wanted to have them as pets in the first place.
When I finally got to the house I listened to Ciara one more time in my car and then went inside. There were a few people out for some BBQ but it was barely sixty degrees so it wasn’t much of a pool party. California’s been pretty much freezing since I’ve been back. A certain town drunk showed up and stayed for an hour after everyone had left. We all got high and played Mega Man X on a Super Nintendo that my friend Danny bought at Game Dude. Then Danny and the drunk sort of talked me into calling this guy friend of mine up and asking him if he wanted to be my boyfriend. He had been at the party and seemed really sad. I told him that I’d be the best fucking boyfriend he’d ever had and I’d make him breakfast and listen to the story of his life and drive him places when he was drunk.
BORN IN THE USA
For the last couple of days I´ve been staying at the home of a host family just outside of Quito, the capitol of Ecuador before heading to the coast to start the sea turtle project. Their house is absolutely beautiful and Eduardo, Gabriella, and their son Martin have all been incredible hosts. Last night while planning a trip into the city, Eduardo gave us a touristy DVD about Quito. The narrator had a thick Boston accent and the soundtrack was a listless acoustic guitar and synth drone. Every few seconds we were reminded that Quito is the city of patrimony.
After a few minutes of watching the movie Martin (who is only eight years old) came into the room and started giving us his own narration of each city spot featured on the DVD. I couldn´t understand much of what he was saying but I caught some little bits here and there: ¨My mother was baptized in that church¨ or ¨that street isn´t very safe.¨ He had something to say about each part of the city. He then went on to talk about the other great things in Ecuador- mostly I just heard words that sounded like Iguana and Tortoise here and there.
The point is, it was amazing that at only eight he knew so much about the city. I don´t think I could tell someone that many facts about Los Angeles or Philadelphia and both are cities that I have spent some time in. He was definitely excited about Ecuador. It was the same with Joe, the guy I met in Lima. When I asked him if he liked Peru he said ¨of course!¨ and then went on to rave about how Macchu Picchu was one of the wonders of the world and how great the rain forest was and stuff like this. It´s not that these two people didn´t recognize that their countries had problems- Martin went on a tirade about how awful the president of Ecuador is and Joe wasn´t happy about homophobia in Lima. But they´re still immediately proud of their countries. I really like this. I think from now on that´s the response I´m going to try to have if someone asks me if I like the US. I know it has problems but it´s where I´m from. And frankly, I really like living in the US. So I´m just going to be into it, recognizing the problems but also the good things.
Walking around Quito the next day I finally felt like I got a sense of a South American city. Maybe it´s just that Quito is more historic than Lima and safer than the cities in Bolivia. It feels lame and touristy to dig through a lonely planet for things to see but once you get over that feeling and just go out and start by seeing those things you might actually learn something about a city and it´s people. I was raised Episcopalian and really I don´t have any negative feelings toward that experience of being christian so a part of me did see the churches as being incredible. If you just suck it up and recognize you´re a tourist for five seconds you can start to learn a bit about a place. So even though it´s a landmark in a guide book it´s still a real thing.
GRAND THEFT ECUADOR
JUST MOMENTS BEFORE THIS VIDEO WAS TAKEN MARTIN TAUGHT ME THAT PISTOLA WAS SPANISH FOR GUN, RAN OVER THREE PEDESTRIANS, EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SAN ANDREAS WAS ACTUALLY LOS ANGELES, AND EFFORTLESSLY SHOT HIS WAY OUT OF A POLICE STATION.
POST-COLONIAL SIDE NOTE: MY SPANISH IS SOOOOO BAD.