The Difference Between Turtles and Tortoises

Have you had the privilege to go swimming with or to interact with either a turtle or a tortoise?

If so you no doubt know that they are both fascinating creatures and that they are both gorgeous creatures in their own right. And while they may look similar they are not the same at all! Both turtles and tortoises are precious and fascinating little creatures, but there are a lot of things that make them very different. Here are a few of the things that set these animals apart, hopefully the next time you see one you will be able to identify what it is.

Both turtles and tortoises are reptiles, but they are in different classification families. Both of their bodies are protected and shielded by a hard shell, the lower part of the shell is called the plastron and the upper section is called the carapace. These parts are connected by a bridge which means that the turtles and tortoises can move their limbs but never fully come out of their shell. This feature allows them to move freely while also being protected from predators and other animals as well as the elements around them.

One of the biggest differences is where they live. Turtles mostly live in the water, and tortoises only live on land. Even though turtles spend a lot of time in water both turtles and tortoises lay their eggs on land. Even though these creatures look similar there are a lot of physical differences between the two. Tortoises have dome like shells and thick sturdier feet. Turtles have more flat shells and their limbs are pretty similar to the tortious.

The two reptiles have different life spans, the tortious can live almost as long as human! It can be anywhere from 50 to 80 years, there are some cases where they lived up to 150 years of age! The longest recorded tortious died at 188 years old. Unlike the tortious turtles only live around 20 to 40 years. Both animals are kept as pets. Tortoises do better in warmer climates since they’re land creatures. One of the main differences between the two are their diets, turtles eat a lot of animal-based foods like fish pellets and insects. Tortoises diet is mainly made up of grasses, leafy greens, and vegetables.

Both tortoise and the turtle make great pets but be sure that you are ready to take on the responsibility of the creature before investing in one as a pet. It is always best to see the animals in their natural habitat then to force them to live in cages and tanks in your home.

If you have the opportunity take a trip to an area that is known for having either one, whichever is your favourite, and see them as they were created to be, free and one with nature. Admire their beautiful shell and their calm manner and how they interact with their fellow friends and animals. You will no doubt see that they are both amazing animals.