By Mervin F. Roberts
T.F.Publications,Inc., 211 west Sylvania Avenue
Neptune City, NJ 07753, 1983
ISBN 0-87666-928-3 , 94 pp, 3 Euros (Europe)
Turtles as Pets was the authors first little book about pets, in 1954. 'It was a 32-pager, ...which is still being
read, but today pet keepers are more sophisticated and they want more useful facts, more accurate reasons,' the author says.
'So, here it is, completely re-written.'
This book includes 50 full-color photos and over 25 black and white photos.
It presents easy-to-follow advice about all aspects of selecting and caring for pet turtles.
The readers have all the info they need , such as getting started, feeding
turtles, diseases and ailments. A simplified, yet detailed book that is still popular .
The introduction deals with the anatomy of turtles supported by attractive illustrations. 'All turtles are toothless. All
have tails and eyelids but no external ears...,' M.F.Roberts writes.
Then comes Turtle Keeping which includes useful advice on how to
care for these pets. It mentions all the risks involved, like Salmonella infection. 'This disease is similar to typhoid fever
but is less dangerous. It is best controlled by habitat cleanliness, ' the author says.
Reproduction includes facts and striking photos, such as the one that a baby turtle is hatching from its egg.
Feeding, Housing and Keeping aquatic and semi-aquatic and terrestrial species chapters follow giving
a lot of info and advice on turtles.
'In general, the semi-aquatic and fully aquatic turtles tend to prefer more
meat in their diets than do the purely terrestrial species,' the author says.
'If you want your pet to be an inside pet, give it warmth and full-length
daylight hours with artificial light right through the winter.'
'If you choose to keep terrestrial turtles you will find that many are long-lived
and easy to maintain.'
The last chapter is about Diseases and Ailments , a very important
section everyone should read before buying a turtle, especially those who have children.
'Aquatic turtles are often fed decayed or spoiling meat scraps which harbor
Salmonella bacilli,' the author says. '...no pet keeper should knowingly let children who suck their thumbs also put their
hands into an aquarium...'.
The book ends with a quick review of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtle-borne
Salmonella. There is also some reference to other publications.
TURTLES is a well-organized book, clearly laid out and easy-to-read by both
adults and children.
It caters for all pet lovers who wish to know more about turtles, no matter
if they intend to buy one or not. It is educational, interesting and highly informative.
The photographs are attractive and very helpful and all the facts are presented
in an interesting way.
So, if you are going to buy a turtle, or if you already have one, or even
if you want to learn about turtles, then this book is for you!
By Jeff Ripple
By Steve Grenard
Reviewed by Liana Metal , 2002