How To Tell The Age Of A Yellow Belly Slider Turtle?

How To Tell The Age Of A Yellow Belly Slider Turtle?

You may already know that a turtle’s lifespan is the longest compared to other living animals. Interestingly, turtles live for so long that they’ll grow old alongside you and be your forever pet companion. Moreover, you may end up preparing a will entirely for your beloved turtle pet. 

You may already know that a turtle’s lifespan is the longest compared to other living animals. Interestingly, turtles live for so long that they’ll grow old alongside you and be your forever pet companion. Moreover, you may end up preparing a will entirely for your beloved turtle pet. 

However, the main question remains: how do you tell the age of your turtle pet if you want to rest assured that they will stick with you for the long haul? On average, a yellow-belly slider turtle lives for 20 to 25 years. There are two ways to determine the age of such a slider turtle: counting the number of rings present on its shell and knowing its size. 

Do you have a yellow-belly slider turtle as your pet? Do you want to find out its age but don’t know how? If so, you’ve landed on the right page. This article will help you learn the different ways to determine or estimate the age of your yellow belly slider pet. So, read till the end. 

Yellow-Bellied Slider Age Chart

Length of a Female Turtle  Length of a Male Turtle  Age (in years)
30mm – 40mm  30mm – 40mm  Baby Turtles (0-4)
130mm 70mm – 75mm
160mm 90mm – 100mm 10 
225mm 100mm – 110mm 30 
230mm 100mm – 110mm 40
235mm 100mm – 110mm 50

Alert: This chart has not been established scientifically; instead, it’s an approximate chart. Plus, it may differ from one species of turtle to another. So, to better determine the age of your yellow-bellied turtle, follow the section above too. 

How To Tell The Age Of A Yellow Belly Slider Turtle?

how to tell the age of a yellow belly slider turtle?

Yellow belly slider turtle – a native to the southern US – grows and survives best in captivity. It is considered one of the world’s most popular and preferred pet options. The average lifespan of a yellow-belly slider turtle pet can be 20 to 25 years or even longer. 

Several factors determine the lifespan of a yellow-belly slider turtle. The type of food it eats and its size are the two things that mainly influence its lifespan. If you’re unsure about the age of your yellow belly slider, also popularly called a painted turtle, you can try any of the below-mentioned methods. 

So, let’s move on to the further sections. 

Counting The Number of Rings on The Turtle’s Carapace

This is a well-proven and highly effective method to determine the age of your yellow-bellied slider turtle in no time. If you closely observe the scute present on your turtle’s upper shell, you’ll find rings on it. Here, you must count all these rings. 

Step 1: Knowing & Comprehending The Scute 

Before you start counting the rings present on the turtle’s scute, ensure having a proper understanding of the scute first. If you look at the turtle carapace’s upper shell, you’ll find it there. The primary function of the scute is safeguarding the carapace of the turtle. It ensures protection against any natural phenomena or predators. 

The carapace consists of two types of rings on it. At the time of summer, you’ll find notable and broader rings on the turtle. This indicates sufficient feeding sessions. Meanwhile, in winter, you’ll find less noteworthy and smaller circles on the turtle. This indicates that your pet needs to feed less than what’s required.

Step 2: Having A Proper Count Of The Rings 

After properly understanding the turtle carapace and the type of rings, start counting them correctly. There are several reasons why your turtle pet grows such rings. For example, it’s the feminine time when the turtle grows narrow rings. Thus, even if you count the rings correctly during this period, you won’t find out their actual age. 

Moreover, you should know that not the color of the rings varies from one turtle species to another. The color not only varies according to species but also age. For example, you’ll find notable dark-green rings on the carapace of a red-eared slider baby. However, with aging, the color of their rings begins to fade away. 

Step 3: Finding Out The Age of The Turtle

Once you count the rings on the carapace, keep a note of it. It’s best to recheck the number of rings by counting again to be doubly sure your count is correct. By now, you must know that there are two ring types: narrower and broader ones. 

And the fact that the carapace of a turtle consists of two ring types means you have some extra work to do. Now, you must divide the total number of rings you counted by two. So, if your yellow-bellied slider turtle has 18 rings on its carapace, the division will give you nine as a result. Thus, the actual age of your painted turtle will be 9. 

Checking & Comparing The Size of The Turtle

checking & comparing the size of the turtle

This method is widely used by pet owners when their yellow-bellied slider turtle is a grown-up. Plus, implementing this method is easy, and everyone can do it. What you need to do is start measuring the size of your pet turtle with the help of a measuring tape. 

Start from the top and measure the length of the turtle till its bottom. While measuring your pet turtle, there’s a high chance of them moving frequently or making a hissing sound. If such an issue arises, the best solution is to tempt the pet with its favorite food item. 


Comparative Aging Analysis: Yellow-Bellied Sliders vs. Other Turtle Species

Aspect Yellow-Bellied Slider Red-Eared Slider Box Turtle
Lifespan 30-40 years 20-30 years 40-50 years
Growth Rate Specifics Moderate, steady growth Rapid growth in early years Gradual, consistent growth
Dietary Influence Varied diet influences size High-protein diet accelerates growth Varied diet affects shell health
Habitat Impact Longer lifespan in natural habitats Faster growth in warmer climates Longer lifespan in wild than captivity
Reproductive Age Begins breeding at 5-6 years Breeding starts at 2-4 years Starts breeding at 10-20 years
Color Changes Less pronounced, subtle Vibrant color changes with age Subtle changes, more uniform
Behavioral Changes Moderate activity level Highly active, especially when young Generally less active


Finding Out The Age of a Yellow-Bellied (Painted) Slider Turtle: A Summarized Overview

finding out the age of a yellow-bellied (painted) slider turtle: a summarized overview

Finding the age of yellow-bellied sliders (painted turtles) is not as simple as finding the age of other turtle species. Here’s what you should do: 

  • Flip your yellow belly slider turtle over. When you flip your pet upside down, it can hiss on you or perhaps attempt to attack you. That’s because this turtle species doesn’t enjoy being inverted and because their belly represents the most delicate portion of their anatomy.
  • Now, look at your pet’s right or left plastron, respectively. The bottom half and midsection of the plastron are where the abdomen region is situated. There are eight distinct sections on each abdominal segment.
  • Start counting the rings on one side of the abdomen. You may determine your yellow-bellied slider pet’s actual age by counting the number of circles. For example, if the abdomen region has six rings, the turtle is probably five years old.

Other Alternative Methods To Determine a Turtle’s Age

Checking The Turtle Bone

checking the turtle bone

To determine a pet turtle’s age, researchers have lately begun to study its bones. The technique is complicated, so it’s not ideal for any pet owner to perform.

Skeleton chronology is the name of this technique. Researchers have discovered that marine turtles grow rings every year. So, to estimate the age of the turtles, researchers count them. Since the approach produces inconsistent results, many experts do not yet believe it to be credible.

Noticing The Visual Aging Signs

noticing the visual aging signs

Primarily relevant to wild turtles, this technique estimates a turtle’s age. For pet turtles, it is ineffective. Rather than accurately determining the turtle’s age in the wild setting, you can use its pigmentation and carapace structure to judge its age. 

The carapace of a turtle will eventually begin to show indications of abrasion and wear as it matures in the wild. Additionally, as it ages, it will get cracks and scratches.


There hasn’t been a proven way to estimate a turtle’s age until now correctly. But we have discovered two methods for determining the turtle’s age. Some turtle owners enjoy comparing their turtle’s size to the chart, whereas the majority prefer counting the rings. So, decide what’s best for your convenience and find out your yellow-bellied slider pet’s age. 

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