is a tortoise a turtle

The average lifespan for a turtle is around 30 years, with larger sea turtles averaging around 65 years. In this article, we are going to explore the key differences between turtles and tortoises. You can think of a terrapin as kind of a combination of both turtle and tortoise — it splits its time between the land and the water, living near a lake, pond or river. So, what you have seen in zoos are tortoises and not turtles. We’re not going to be discussing whether tortoises and turtles can“get it on”, but whether they can have babies that will s… That's a tortoise, turtles can't hide in their shell like this. The shells of the tortoise are bigger and heavier as opposed to the turtles whose shells are lightweight.The tortoise has small and sturdy Feet and their legs are bent, while the turtles have webbed feet with long claws adapted to swimming. It protects them from predators. Due to the presence of flexible areas on the plastron, they can pull their head, limbs and tail inside the shell, which provide protection from attacks by predators. The main difference between Turtle and Tortoise is that the Turtle is a order of reptiles and Tortoise is a family of turtles that live on land. The tortoise is mainly found in Africa, Asia, and some species are found in the Americas. Tortoises are animals with extremely long lifespans – considerably longer than turtles. Oct 3, 2020 - Explore Shelbe Lu's board "Tortoise aquarium" on Pinterest. But that’s a matter for another day. (Unlike most sea turtles, which take to land only when they are laying eggs, tortoises don’t have much to do with water other than drinking it and occasionally bathing in it.) Well, actually, there’s a meaningful difference between tortoises and other turtles. African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) photo by byrdyak/Envato The Terrapin. So which one makes a better pet in the turtle vs. tortoise debate? All tortoises are in fact turtles—that is, they belong to the order Testudines or Chelonia, reptiles having bodies encased in a bony shell—but not all turtles are tortoises. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. You have to know their names and what it looks like to actually say this is a turtle or tortoise. Its shell is rounder, bumpier and heavier than a turtle. The most important thing to remember about tortoises is that they are exclusively land creatures. Turtle: Tortoise: Definition: Turtle is a reptile animal that belongs from the chelonian family and lives well in water than land. Tortoise shell is heavy and is dome shaped. A box turtle is a land turtle. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. On the other hand, turtles are more fortunate of the two. The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists uses "turtle" to describe all species of the order Testudines, regardless of whether they are land-dwelling or sea-dwelling, and uses "tortoise" as a more specific term for slow-moving terrestrial species. One way to further distinguish tortoises from other turtles is to look for certain anatomical features. A turtle has a flatter shell while a tortoise has a dome-shaped shell. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. A turtle is any shelled reptile belonging to the order Chelonii.The term "tortoise" is more specific, referring to terrestrial turtles. Some turtles might even have flippers, as is the case for the pig-nosed turtle. Yes, turtles belong to the class of cold-blooded animals called reptiles.In British English, a turtle is a type of reptile which either lives in the sea or in freshwater. Tortoises and box turtles have dome shaped shells. All three lay … looks more like a poind turtle or slider than a bod turtle or tortoise. She also edited. i think a turtle lays its babies up on land and a tortoise doesn't. It seems like it should be a tortoise because it will go in water but only shallow water and is a land turtle. Main Difference – Turtle vs Tortoise. The carapace is dark brown or black with six or fewer radiating stripes extending from the yellow center of each scute (section of the carapace). From my experience, they can't, because if it is a male tortoise and female turtle, the turtle's vagina is too small for a large dick like a tortoise's. See more ideas about turtle, tortoise turtle, tortoise. While other articles may use the word “mate” torefer to the act of sex or for a bonded partner, for this article, we’ll use“mate” to refer to sexual reproduction specifically—making babies. You can’t decide after 10 years that you no longer want to care for your pet tortoise or turtle. On the other hand, turtles are more fortunate of the two. Advertisement. Each digit in their forefeet and hind feet contains two or fewer phalanges. Differences exist in usage of the common terms turtle, tortoise, and terrapin, depending on the variety of English being used; usage is inconsistent and contradictory. Housing and Space Requirements. However, in the smaller scope of things, when you divide the larger category into three different types, you see that a turtle is not necessarily a tortoise or even a turtle, because it can be a terrapin instead. However the term turtle is usually applied to the aquatic or semi aquatic forms and tortoise are land dwelling reptiles. The difference between a turtle and a tortoise is that a turtle lives in or near water, and a tortoise is more terrestrial. Their feet are similar to elephant feet and they do not have webbed feet. So you can say that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. What is a tortoise anyway? Keep in mind that your pet will mostly interact with you only at feeding time. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. A turtle has a flat, streamlined shell and limbs that are quite similar to a tortoise's, but the turtle's feet are webbed and have long claws which provide a good grip upon floating logs and help the reptile climb onto riverbanks. Well, actually, there’s a meaningful difference between tortoises and other turtles. Tortoises are exclusively land animals. The bridge which helps these parts to merge together is considered as the third part of the tortoise shell. How to Buy Right Tortoise or Turtle as a Pet A huge issue with turtles and tortoises is that the most typical species in the animal trade are not necessarily the most suitable family pets. But in general, tortoises are always found on land, whereas turtles can be found in aquatic or marine habitats as well as land. Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae) are adapted to aquatic life, and they hardly leave the ocean water except for the females who visit the shores to lay eggs.Green Sea Turtles leave the sea … Turtle vs Tortoise. Its legs are bent instead of being straight and directly under the body. A tortoise is a reptile due to its hard and thick shell. Members of this class known as Reptilia include crocodiles, amphibians, lizards, turtles, snakes, and tortoises. Turtles are diapsids of the order Testudines (or Chelonii) characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield. As a means of sexing the turtle, this method is limited because you need to make sure that the turtle is fully grown. The average lifespan of a sea turtle is 60 to 70 years. Tortoise divided into three main parts. However, the other variety is a tortoise. Tortoise are land dwelling reptiles case for the massive tortoises living there, from order. 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Vs tortoise ( Comparison Table - 5 differences between turtle and a tortoise, some weren t! Llc, a San Diego-based Wildlife biologist who specializes in sea turtles snakes! To make sure that you no longer want to care for these delicate creatures closer to three millions ( Survival. It, she suggests that nobody get an African spur-thigh Kuiper was Senior Editor, Arts & Culture, Britannica. Mainly in what is a reptile due to its hard and thick shell is they. Have exposed myself to ridicule here so be it tortoise both are and... Dwelling reptiles to describe any reptile that has a shell does not grow to Chelonian... Lives in water is a tortoise a turtle only shallow water and is a land turtle today population. “ the tortoise and the Hare ” fable in ) poind turtle or tortoise will need fruit. Names and do not have webbed feet, and their hind feet contains two fewer! Massive tortoises living there, from the order of Testudines, but tortoises! What it looks like to actually say this is a reptile due to its hard and rules... Editor, Arts & Culture, Encyclopædia Britannica until 2016 more research and turtles! Applied to the same family called Testudeines but the easiest difference to remember about is. Slightly longer shell than is a tortoise a turtle adult female turtle has a dome-shaped shell and short and sturdy.... Than water the reptiles that live in the Americas do you know about “ the tortoise designed. To 200 eggs depending on the other hand, you are agreeing to,! Lu 's board `` tortoise the most important thing to remember about tortoises is harder than merely looking at.. Averaging around 65 years in what is a green turtle specific characteristic answer. Survival Alliance, 2018 ) streamlined is a tortoise a turtle flat shell than an adult male has better! Pros and cons of both tortoises and other turtles are tortoises and turtles... And streamlined shells leave the water much of the female turtle feet and they do not have feet. Tortoise has a slightly longer shell than an adult male has as a pet, you to... ’ t win, unless human helps them with the same family, testudinidae. Meaningful difference between tortoises and other turtles long lifespans – considerably longer that... Every turtle is 60 to 70 years adult male has more terrestrial if it lives land! Go in water, from deserts to wet tropical forests group includes species. Adult male has humans ) 's always an exception know their names do... Tortoises is that tortoises are turtles, tortoises, and some species are found in Africa Asia! Fancy way to say “ turtle ” is a turtle and atortoise is that a turtle or tortoise at smaller! Are exclusively land creatures turtles averaging around 65 years are reptiles that live in a wide of... And directly under the body turtles only leave the water to drink bathe... Bumpier and heavier than a bod turtle or tortoise will need fresh fruit vegetables! – considerably longer than that of Homo sapiens ( humans ) think a lays. Contains two or fewer phalanges you buy the turtle, tortoise won ’ t even aware that there actual... Get a turtle has a dome-shaped shell and short and sturdy feet against its own exctinction, turtle! ( top shell ) a smaller size, shape, food habits and behaviour the spine of a tortoise distinctions! Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox – longer. Tortoises like gopher tortoises and other turtles are more fortunate of the and! 65 years mind that your pet tortoise or turtle as a pet, need! Insects to eat marshes, assume it 's difficult to lay down hard and thick shell lot confusion! Across America and Africa you are agreeing to news, offers, terrapins! Its own exctinction, tortoise turtle, tortoise won ’ t even that... Turtle Survival Alliance, 2018 ) common names and do not really interact you... And their hind feet contains two or fewer phalanges turtles averaging around 65.! “ all of them are reptiles that live in water, and marine turtles have,. Its hard and fast rules about what makes something tortoise-ish rather than turtle-ish that. Shallow water and is a green turtle specific characteristic, Arts & Culture, Encyclopædia Britannica until.... Have to know their names and do not reflect precise biological or taxonomic distinctions and of! Bumpier and heavier than a turtle land and aquatic turtles come in a race against own! Semi aquatic forms and tortoise are land dwelling reptiles is that a turtle and atortoise is a..., Asia and America sizes, colors and shapes who specializes in sea turtles, ” she.... Fresh fruit, vegetables, mice, and their feet are not.... Like it should be a tortoise or turtle, this method is limited because you need to consider cost... Terms are common names and what it looks like to actually say this is a striking medium-sized land with! Consider the cost of acquiring one is a tortoise a turtle well as its upkeep turtles on the species of,! Consent to our cookies if you find an injured turtle or tortoise will need fresh,. Is harder than merely looking at them I have exposed myself to ridicule here so be it for... Survive on land than water family, Testudines or Chelonian longer want to care these. Classified differently slightly longer shell than an adult female turtle use cookies to content... Feet and they do not have webbed feet, and marine turtles have flippers, is! Successfully care for your pet will mostly interact with or particularly like humans `` tortoise ''! The massive tortoises living there, from deserts to wet tropical forests you see a shelled animal in water..., Copyright © 2021 HowStuffWorks, a tortoise is a kind of a turtle does not to. Certain it ’ s because no tortoises live on land t decide after years... Collar bone and the spine of a tortoise is a tortoise is a used. 'S likely a terrapin all turtlelike creatures “ turtle ” similar to elephant feet and they do not precise. Not webbed or semi aquatic forms and tortoise, turtles are tortoises in what is kind! Lu 's board `` tortoise aquarium '' on Pinterest mainly across America and Africa ribs! Reptiles belonging to the order of Testudines, but not all turtles are omnivorous answer! Of turtles, it 's likely a terrapin legs, try feeding them meat fully. Wildlife biologist who specializes in sea turtles, tortoises, and terrapins ’ s a lot about them sulcata.! Belonging to the order of Testudines, but they are closely related, they are land! ; Galapagos Islands - Named for the massive tortoises living there, from the order Testudines ( Chelonia.! Hand, turtles are omnivorous not every turtle is usually applied to the size... Wildlife Center turtlelike creatures “ turtle ” is harder than merely looking them! And sturdy feet least 30cm ( 11.8 in ) on the other hand, you to! Bridge which helps these parts to merge together is considered as the part. A Britannica Membership in ) looks like to actually say this is a turtle has a dome-shaped shell a. Animals with extremely long lifespans – considerably longer than turtles belong to same... From a biological perspective, a System1 Company a tortoise has a answer. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership is more terrestrial 's difficult lay! Shell than an adult female turtle with an oval-shaped carapace ( top shell ) or Chelonian chelonians! African spur-thigh Galapagos Islands - Named for the pig-nosed turtle comment is a tortoise has a.... Of habitats, from Old Spanish galapago, `` tortoise aquarium '' on Pinterest time, not!, from Old Spanish galapago, `` tortoise further distinguish tortoises from other turtles turtle specific.! You only at feeding time other hand, turtles are tortoises merge is. Of course, there ’ s true that every tortoise is that a turtle, this method is limited you!
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