Mervin F. Roberts
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buy *Turtles* online Turtles

Mervin F. Roberts
TFH Publications
94 pages
June 1989
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Turtles as Pets was Mervin F. Roberts' first little book about keeping turtles, 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.’ Turtles now 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.

Curled Up With a Good BookReaders have all the info they need, such as getting started, feeding turtles, diseases and ailments. That makes for a simple 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 features a baby turtle hatching from its egg. "Feeding, Housing and Keeping" aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial species chapters follow giving a lot of additional 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 "Diseases and Ailments," a very important section everyone should read before buying a turtle, especially those who have children, for 'Aquatic turtles are often fed decayed or spoiling meat scraps which harbor Salmonella bacilli...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 easily read by both adults and children. It caters tp 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.

© 2002 by Liana Metal for Curled Up With a Good Book

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