Why Do Red Eared Sliders Shake Their Hands?


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Red eared sliders (also known as a red eared turtle), is one of the most popular turtles on earth. Belonging to the family Emadiade, these sliders show up some interesting behaviors. One of them is shaking or crawling their hands or claws. Things happen for various reason and we are going to discuss why this happens.

So, why do red eared sliders shake their hands? There can be many reasons. But the most common one is to establish their dominance among other male turtles. Also, this behavior attracts female ones for mating.

So, Why Red Eared Sliders Shake Their Hands?

Shaking hands is one of the most interesting traits these sliders could show. In general, it may sound simple until we know the reason behind it. Those reasons can be listed as below:

(It’s worth mentioning that this behavior only shows in male sliders)

  • Establishing Dominance Among Others
  • Attracting Female Ones For Fertilization
  • Meaning Of Shaking In Young Sliders
  • Meaning Of Touching With Hands Instead Of Shaking

Establishing Dominance Among Others:

Sometimes, male sliders flutter their front claws in front of others to show up their higher social status. Often it indicates physical battel where it could result in biting between two sliders with the help of their beaks, as they don’t have any teeth.

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Attract Female Ones For Fertilization:

Well, this a bit interesting! Shaking hands use for fertilization. When the male ones try to woo the female ones, they shake their hands around them. When the female ones see this and accept his proposal, they are on the verge of mating and fertilization. However, it doesn’t occur in seconds. It could take up to 10 to 45 minutes to complete the process of mating.

Meaning Of Shaking In Young Sliders:

Red ear sliders mainly show this behavior i.e. shaking as a wooing technique. So, this is unfamiliar to the younger ones and their shaking of claws doesn’t mean anything.

Meaning Of Touching With Hands Instead Of Shaking:

Not every slider use shaking as their main wooing technique. Some of them slightly touch it across the female’s face to attract them and go for mating. But this kind of behavior is mainly seen in sliders having larger claws.

Why do turtles shake their hands?

Male turtles do such kind of things to woo female ones and complete mating. It’s the main reason behind it. However, they also do this to express domination over the other ones.

Why do turtles tap each other in the face?

Female turtles often like to be touched by their loved ones to start the mating process. As mentioned earlier, male ones do this when they have longer hands or claws.


I hope by now you know why red eared sliders shake their hands. If you have any more questions, go through the site. You’ll find plenty of articles like this where we explain different interesting behaviors of red eared sliders.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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