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4 fun facts about our friends in a shell: the turtle



Let's check out some cool facts about these amazing reptiles that can be found on every continent around the world.

How many species of turtle are there?

turtle swimming underwater with some fish

Turtles live mainly in the water. (Image by Marcello Rabozzi from Pixabay)

There are more than 300 species of turtle that live all over the world. Turtles, tortoises and terrapins have been around for over 200 million years!

There are many types of turtles, but people often use the name turtle to describe tortoises and terrapins too.

The difference? Turtles live mainly in water and are great swimmers. Tortoises live on land and have flat feet for easy walking. Terrapins live in water and land but mostly near swamps, rivers and ponds. All species lay eggs.

What sound do turtles make?

Different turtle species have been known to make strange sounds that you wouldn’t expect to come out of a turtle.

Some turtles sound like a person burping and some sound like dogs barking.

Some turtles sound like an old man yelling, some sound like a remote control airplane and some even sound like chickens clucking!

How long can turtles live?

a large brown tortoise in the sand

Tortoises live on land and have flat feet. (Pixabay)

The oldest known tortoise was Adwaita who lived at the Alipore Zoological Gardens in India and lived to be an estimated 255 years old!

The second oldest tortoise was Tu’i Malila from the island of Tonga, who was cared for by the royal family and lived to be 188 years old.

Jonathan the tortoise, who lives on the Island of Saint Helena, is currently the oldest living tortoise in the world. In 2019, Jonathan will be 187 years old.

Maybe they live so long because of their healthy diets and protective shells they use to hide in when danger is near!

How does a turtle's shell work?

Turtles are completely attached to their shells — it’s impossible for them to come off. In fact, shells grow with the turtle.

A turtle shell is made up of 50 bones in the turtle’s skeleton and includes their spine and rib cage.

Almost all species of turtle can retract their heads and legs into the inside of their shell when they sense danger but not all can.