Turtles are often misunderstood animals. They are seen to be lazy but are actually doing what they are supposed to do. Before you overlook that turtle at the pet store in favor of some other pet, learn all you can about them.
They are not the swiftest of creatures. Everyone knows the fable of the tortoise and the hare. If you are slow, you are often compared to one. No one wants to be the tortoise or a turtle. But, turtles are actually interesting animals that would make great pets for children or older people who are fascinated by them. Here are some little known turtle facts.
Wow I didn’t know that!
Turtles are interesting. You are about to find that out! Use the information below to decide if you want a turtle as a pet or just use it to amaze your friends.
1. Turtles live for hundreds of years – This fact is mentioned in the movie Finding Nemo. Nemo’s dad meets a sea turtle who has lived for 150 years. In fact, they can live up to 200 years. The average turtle that you have in your home may only live for about 40 years, but if they are hardy, they could outlive you.
2. Turtles and tortoises are different – We call everything a turtle, but in fact, tortoises are the ones that live on land, while the name “turtle” refers to the ones that live in the water. Tortoises have a dome-shaped shell to help them hide from predators. Turtles have a sleek flat shell that makes it easier to glide through the water. And, tortoises are almost exclusively herbivores (plant eaters) while turtles are omnivores (meat and plant eaters).
3. Turtles are found on every continent save one – No matter where you travel you can find a turtle living there. As long as the climate of the region is conducive to their breeding needs, they will live and thrive. The only area where turtles have not been seen is Antarctica.
4. Turtles today are similar to their prehistoric brethren – Turtles have not evolved very much over the last 200 million years. At one time they did have teeth to eat their food and heads that did not retract into their shells. Other than that, you could probably recognize a prehistoric fossil of an early turtle as being similar to the ones found today.
5. Turtles are old – Speaking of prehistoric, turtles were evolving on this earth before birds, snakes, lizards and other mammals.
6. Turtles have lots of bones – That beautiful shell that keeps them safe is actually made up of many smaller bones, 60 to be exact. They are fused together. The top side of the shell is called the carapace while the underside is referred to as the plastron.
You probably didn’t know that turtles were so remarkable. I hope you enjoyed these turtle facts!