Turtles vs Tortoises

Today I would like to present our wonderful (not so furry) friend the tortoise, and its best friend the turtle! :blush:
Did you know that tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises? Most people use the term “turtle” to reference any reptile with a shell on its back, but there are several differences between these two unique creatures.

Let’s have a look at some fun facts! :star_struck:


:herb: A tortoise cannot swim, but they do have the ability to hold their breath for long periods.
:herb: Tortoises have short, thick feet like those of an elephant’s.
:herb: A tortoise’s shell is heavier and more rounded.
:herb: Tortoises get all their water and nutrients from the food they eat.
:herb: The largest tortoise species is the Galapagos tortoise which can weigh up to 200 kg and grow up to 1.2 meters long.


:shamrock: Sea turtles cannot retract their flippers and head into their shells.
:shamrock: Green sea turtles are primarily herbivores, eating mostly seagrasses and algae.
:shamrock: Sea turtles lay their eggs in a nest they dig in the sand with their rear flippers.
:shamrock: Leatherback sea turtles have existed in their current form since the age of the dinosaurs!
:shamrock: It’s estimated that only around 1 in 1,000 marine turtle hatchlings make it to adulthood.

Which other fun facts do you know about a turtle or tortoise? Do you maybe have one as a pet?

Which one is your favourite?
  • Tortoise
  • Turtle

0 voters

Have you ever touched a turtle or a tortoise?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Awww what a cute topic :blush:. In fact, I didn’t know that! I always thought that tortoise were only the giant ones. Thank you for sharing @ChereeKr :happyllama:.


Very interesting facts I didn’t know!


Wow super interesting! Thank you for sharing @ ChereeKr! :smiley:


Wonderful topic @ChereeKr! I love turtles and tortoises! Maybe it’s because when I was a kid, I went absolutely nuts about dinosaurs. I mean, just look at them! :turtle::sauropod:

:thinking:…and I just realized that I’ve had a couple of encounters with tortoises and turtles so far. I rescued a Greek Tortoise when hitch hiking through Greece from oncoming traffic, watched a huge Green Turtle laying her eggs at a Sri Lankan beach, and “adopted” two hatchlings at the Turtle Conservation And Education Center in Bali.

And since I crossed the equator on a sailing vessel, I’m allowed to call myself “shellback” and get a turtle tattoo as proof (old sailor tradition). Haven’t done that yet, though. :sweat_smile:

Oh, and of course Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!!


Awesome Post!! Absolutely love it!

Also, it is sooo embarassing that I am a Veterinarian and did not know these facts. HAHAHAHA


Excited to share some of my elementary school science. I think it is because they come to a very close classification of being the same animals, however, at one of the lowest levels have differences.


Wow! Thank you for sharing @kgeisl1! :grin: Super interesting! I’ve never thought about a turtle or tortoise in this much detail. :star_struck:

It is so interesting that you mention Sri Lanka @Toby, because that is where I had my first encounter with a turtle. I visited a hatchery where we were allowed to hold some of the new ‘hatchlings’ and also learnt about the effect that the tsunami had on the wildlife in that region. Super interesting! :star_struck:

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