That’s why we’ve compiled these wonderful turtle facts! We’re turtally crazy about turtles here.
These magnificent animals may be found in a variety of habitats and take on a variety of forms. They’re Testudines, a family of reptiles that includes turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. They’re all Testudines.
From huge, lumbering land tortoises to swift terrapins basking in their fresh-water lagoon, to the elegant movements of a sea turtle swimming through our seas
What are you aware of about turtles? They’re sluggish, as you probably know, but they beat a hare in a race, according to the classic fable. Was it a tortoise I saw? Is it the same thing to be a tortoise or a turtle? Keep reading to learn the mystery behind this and other turtle facts!
Turtle Or Tortoise? Look At Their Feet!
The umbrella term for all 200 types of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins is “they’re all turtles,” according to biologists. The ability to swim allows turtles to explore their surroundings. Aquatic turtles dwell in lakes and marshy ponds, and have webbed feet like musk turtles. Oceans are home to marine (sea) turtles, who have flippers.
Tortoises walk on their hind legs like an elephant does. Tortoises, especially the Hermann’s tortoise and Horsefield tortoise, are popular pets because they can’t swim.
Green Sea Turtles Are What They Eat!
Green sea turtles, which consume mostly seagrasses and algae, are a rarity among sea turtles in that they are primarily herbivores. Their cartilage and fat take on a greenish hue (not their shells), which is why they get their name from this eating regimen.
The female of the sea turtle is an egg-laying machine. Females can lay up to 100 eggs at a time and produce multiple clutches each year. Sadly, just 1 out of every 1,000 baby sea turtles survives to maturity, necessitating the production of this many eggs. Many other creatures make quick meals of them.
Many female sea turtles are thought to lay their eggs in the same location where they can all hatch at once because of the high mortality rate. Predators find it more difficult to catch a large number of sea turtles.
Turtles Don’t Have Visible Ears
Turtles aren’t deaf, despite the fact that they don’t have visible ears. Internal ear bones detect low-frequency sounds and vibrations around them, which they can hear. In addition, in filthy situations or if they are malnourished, they may acquire painful ear infections.
Turtles and Tortoises
While not all turtles are tortoises, they are all technically turtles. Tortoises are terrestrial creatures that spend the majority of their lives on land, which is the biggest difference. Water, on the other hand, is preferred by turtles.
Tortoises have a distinct appearance as well. In comparison to a turtle, they have beefier back legs and a more rounded shell. Webbed feet and thinner legs are necessary for turtles to swim.
Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs In A Nest They Dig In The Sand With Their Rear Flippers
They typically produce 100-125 eggs per nest, will lay multiple nests over the course of many months, and will lay them two weeks apart. The hatchlings dig out of their nest as soon as the eggs have hatched (roughly 2 months later). Typically, this procedure takes a few days.
The small turtles rush to the water once they’ve come out, and then head offshore into open water. While adult sea turtles face a variety of threats, they are decades old.
They Wear Their Bones On The Outside
A turtle shell is made up of over 50 bones that have been combined together. Over 90% of their bones are on the exterior! The carapace is the upper part of the shell, whereas the plastron is the lower. A bridge connects the two sides. To help them float, all marine and freshwater turtle bones are spongy and light.
Turtles Have Been Around For Over 200 Million years
About 210 million years ago, the first known turtle with a fully developed hard shell existed. In 2008, however, China discovered the remains of a primitive turtle from even further back. Hundreds of varieties have been added to the species.
Sand Temperature Is Very Important
The temperature in the nest determines the sex of sea turtles, just as it does with many other turtles. Male hatchlings are born at colder temperatures, while female hatchlings are born at warmer temperatures. A combination of male and female hatchlings will result from temperatures that fluctuate between the two extremes.
As global temperatures climb, and fewer male turtles are emerging from the nesting beaches, watch the video below to learn about studies on alarming trends.
They’re All Different Shapes And Sizes
The Kemp’s ridley is the tiniest of all turtles, measuring 70 cm and weighing up to 40 kg. When compared to the leatherback, which can grow up to 180 cm and weigh 250–700 kilos, it seems tiny. Wales is home to the world’s biggest marine turtle, a leatherback measuring 2.5 meters and weighing nearly 900 kilograms, which arrived ashore in 1988.
Half Of The Turtle Species On Earth Are Threatened Or Endangered
Turtles are thought to come in around 360 distinct species. With more animals being added to the list every year, 187 of these species are presently threatened or endangered. Many may become extinct by the end of the century if nothing is done, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Habitat degradation, pollution, poaching, and predators threaten turtles. Tens of thousands of turtles are removed from the wild each year due to illegal poaching for the pet trade.
The Turtle’s Shell Is Part Of Its Skeleton
The turtle’s protective covering is formed by over 60 different bones that join together in its shell. It is also impossible to detach the shell from its spinal column.
The myth that a turtle can emerge from its shell is debunked by this. Some turtles, on the other hand, can retreat into their shell and hide. Some, such as the snapping turtle, are unable to do so.
Hawksbill Turtles Use Their Beaks To Help Extract Their Favorite Prey
Hawksbill turtles prefer to feed on sponges, which can be found on coral reefs. Because of the precision and concavity of their beak, they can probe into tiny holes and crannies on coral reefs in search of food.
Sea turtles lived alongside the dinosaurs for the last 100 million years, having roamed the oceans for millions of years! For almost 145 million years, aquatic turtles have lived. They were able to survive the asteroid impact and the ensuing dinosaur extinction. Will we be left behind by them animals?
Their Young Lives Are A Mystery
The “lost years” are the first few years of a marine turtle’s life. That’s because studying the time between hatchlings emerging and returning to coastal shallow waters to feed is incredibly difficult. We know very little about the years they spend at sea, which could be up to 20 years.
A Turtle’s Diet Is Flexible
What a turtle eats is heavily affected by what may be found in their environment. Insects and small fish are eaten by many people. Little crustaceans are also a favorite treat for many. Aquatic plants are also consumed by them. Tortoises are vegetarians that consume solely fruits and veggies.
Leatherback Sea Turtles Have Existed In Their Current Form Since The Age Of The Dinosaurs!
Between nesting and foraging sites, leatherbacks are incredibly migratory, swimming up to 10,000 kilometers each year.
They are also accomplished divers, with the deepest recorded dive reaching almost 4,000 feet, which is deeper than most marine animals. Their mouth and esophagus are lined with spiky “papillae,” which aid them in capturing and processing jellyfish, their major food source.
Turtles Don’t Have Teeth
To eat, a turtle uses its beak-like mouth. Keratin, the same stuff as your fingernails, is used to make this beak. Hatchlings eat both animals and plants because they are omnivores.
Sea grasses, sea weeds, and algae are preferred foods of green turtles. Fish, mollusks, and squids are the favorite foods of most turtles. On their lengthy ocean voyages, leatherbacks adore eating jellyfish.
They Can Be Ginormous
The sizes of marine turtle species vary greatly. The leatherback may grow up to 180cm long and weigh 500kg, whereas the smallest, Kemp’s ridley, grows up to 70cm long and weighs up to 40kg.
That weighs almost ten times more than me! Wales is also home to the world’s biggest marine turtle, which was discovered recently. A 2.5 m long, 2.5 m from flipper to flipper, and weighing over 900kg (almost 140 stone) leatherback was discovered ashore in 1988.
The Oldest Turtle Ever Is Currently Believed To Be 189 Years Old!
Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise who resides on St. The oldest tortoise ever is thought to be Helena Island in the Seychelles Islands. He just set a new record for the title by beating an 188-year-old tortoise.
Loggerheads Spend The First 7 To 15 Years (Average 12 Years) Of Their Lives In The Open Ocean
They then spread out over the nearshore coastal regions, where they flourish and develop. Loggerheads in the Pacific have a highly migratory life stage, according to researchers using satellite tracking. Hatchlings emerge from their nests in Japan and Australia to swim in the sea.
Others travel from feeding grounds off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, Peru, and Chile to a trans-Pacific developmental migration across the Pacific Ocean. That’s almost 8,000 kilometers!
There Is A Dinosaur Of The Turtle World
It’s a North American turtle who appears to be dressed up as a dino.
One of the world’s biggest freshwater turtles is the frightening-looking alligator snapping turtle. It’s anything but selective about what it eats, having a spiky shell and a thick, scaled tail. Vegetation, fish, small animals, and even other turtles are all eaten by this creature.
It’s Survival Of The Fittest
Just about 1 in every 1,000 turtle hatchlings survive to maturity, according to estimates. The lengthy period it takes for hatchlings and juveniles to become mature, as well as the various hazards they face from predators to marine plastics, are responsible for this.
Some Sea Turtles Can Swim 10,000 Miles In One Year
A sea turtle from the Leatherback family can travel a long way. These turtles travel 10,000 miles (or more) each year between their breeding and feeding grounds. One individual reported a dive of almost 4,000 feet deep, demonstrating that they can swim extremely far beneath the surface.
Sea Turtles Don’t Retract Into Their Shells
Sea turtles, unlike other turtle species, are unable to fold their flippers and head into their shells. These swimmers are very agile and graceful, with their streamlined shells and large paddle-shaped flippers. Their rear flippers are utilized to control their movements in the water.
The common snapping turtle prefers wallowing in the muddier bottom of streams and lives in freshwater. Yes, it bites, but it won’t bother you if you leave it alone. It might, however, just give you a nip if you approach it too closely! Snakes, birds, frogs, and tiny animals are all munched on by it.
Sad But Less Salty
Turtles cry occasionally, but it’s because they’re releasing excess salt (from drinking salty sea water) via a ‘salt excretion gland’ at the corner of their eye. This gland may excrete twice the amount of salt as seawater.
Turtles Live On Every Continent Except Antarctica
Turtles may be found all throughout the globe since they eat both on land and in water and adjust their diet to their environment. Antarctica isn’t home to any continent turtles.
Some Turtles Nest In Large Groups, Called “Arribadas,” Spanish For “Arrival.”
Large numbers of females congregate off the coast and onto the beach for a “arribada,” which lasts many hours and involves a lot of nesting.
Offshore winds, lunar cycles, and the release of pheromones by females are just a few of the theories on what triggers an arribada. Many turtles arrive at the same time, lay nests, and hatch at the same time. This enables predators to kill fewer eggs and hatchlings.
The Hawaiian Honu Turtle Is A Symbol Of Good Luck
The only indigenous reptile in Hawaii, the Hawaiian green sea or honu turtle, is found nowhere else on Earth. The honu is a sign of good luck and the turtle form of an guardian spirit, or Amakua, according to Hawaiian mythology.
A huge honu known as Kauila was said to transform into a human girl and protect youngsters, according to Hawaiian mythology.
Life Ain’t A Track Meet, It’s A Marathon
The longest known record is for a female leatherback who swam over 13,000 miles over 647 days from Indonesia to the west coast of America. Marine turtles may migrate incredible distances. That’s around 20 kilometers every day.
Sea Turtles Can Lay Over 100 Eggs At A Time
Sea turtles lay a large number of eggs. Females may produce several clutches of eggs each year and lay over 100 eggs at a time. Sadly, only 1 in 1,000 baby sea turtles survive to maturity, necessitating the laying of this many eggs. Many other creatures feast on them.
Many female sea turtles are thought to lay their eggs in the same spot where they may all hatch at once because of the high mortality rate. Predators find it more difficult to capture a large number of sea turtles.
Weather Can Impact The Gender Of A Turtle
Unlike many animals, a turtle’s gender isn’t determined at fertilization. Instead, the sex of the child is determined by the temperature.
Male turtles are born when the temperature is less than 81.86 degrees Fahrenheit, while females are born when the temperature is higher than 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The newborns may be of either gender if the temperature is between those two limits.
Turtles are fascinating animals that have a crucial function in the ecosystem. They eat annoying insects and help keep bodies of water clean. They’ve been on this planet for millions of years and may stay here for millions more. By keeping the waters around you clean and working to combat climate change, you can help keep these amazing animals around.