Interesting facts about turtles and tortoise

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Tortoises and turtles are both reptiles from the order of Testudines, but in different classification families. The major difference between the two is that tortoises dwell on land, while turtles live in the water some or nearly all of the time.


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interesting facts about turtles
  • Turtles belong to one of the oldest reptile groups in the world – beating snakes, crocodiles and alligators!
  • These creatures date back to the time of the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago
  • Turtles are easily recognised by their bony, cartilaginous shell. This super-tough casing acts like a shield to protect them from predators – some turtles can even tuck their head up inside their shell for extra protection!
  • Some turtles are carnivores (meat eaters), others are herbivores(plant eaters) and some are omnivores (a mixture of the two. Many baby turtles start life as carnivores but grow to eat more plants as they mature.
  • Turtles are ‘amniotes’ – they breathe air and lay their eggs on land, although many species live in or around water.
  • Turtles have good eyesight and an excellent sense of smell. Hearing and sense of touch are both good and even the shell contains nerve endings.
  • Some aquatic turtles can absorb oxygen through the skin on their neck and cloacal areas allowing them to remain submerged underwater for extended periods of time and enabling them to hibernate underwater.
  • Turtles are one of the oldest and most primitive groups of reptiles and have outlived many other species. One can only wonder if their unique shell is responsible for their longevity.


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interesting facts about tortoise

• Tortoises are cold-blooded – they draw heat from their environment and are more active during the day than at night

• Tortoises can live a very long time, some to the ripe old age of 150. However, the average age a tortoise can live to ranges from 90 to 150 years

• Tortoises are what is known as herbivores, they eat grass, ferns, flowers, tree leaves and fruit

• Female tortoises are usually larger than their male counterparts

• Females dig burrows in which they can lay up anything from 1 to 30 eggs

• A male tortoise has a longer tail than that of a female, which is one way of sexing them

• When baby tortoises break out of their shells they’re called hatchlings

• Tortoise eggs incubate between 90 to 120 days to hatch out

• Tortoises hibernate in the winter time and before they do, they starve themselves so their stomachs are empty ready for hibernation

• A tortoise’s shell is made up of 60 different bones all connected to each other

• The top of a tortoise’s shell is called a “carapace”

• The underside of the shell is called a “plastron”

• The carapace and the plastron of a tortoises shell is connected by what is known as a bridge

• Tortoises can retract their heads and all their limbs including their tails into their shells when they feel threatened or attacked by predators

• Tortoises have extremely strong mouths but no teeth instead they have horny type beaks

• Tortoises have good all round vision and a very good sense of smell


Even with the long life expectancy of giant tortoises, an Aldabra Giant Tortoise named Adwaita blows all others away with a life lasting around 255 years. Estimates put his birth date around 1750, making him an entire generation older than the United States of America. Surf my blogs for more interesting facts.


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