What is the Difference Between Turtles and Tortoises?

Most people know what turtles and tortoises are can’t clearly tell the difference between the two creatures! People commonly refer to tortoises as land turtles. But what exactly is the difference between these two animals? To start, turtles inhabit places that are close to a body of water. These include ponds, marshlands, seas and oceans. A turtles body structure is adapted to swimming and they also have the ability to hold their breath under water in order to swim. On the other hand, tortoises will always be found in dry regions. Tortoises body and feet are adapted to walking on the dry land.

Tortoises can also be found somewhere along the streams but just for the purposes of cleaning themselves and sipping some water to quench their thirst. If they happen to submerge in water, they drown especially if there is a heavy current since they can not swim. The physical features of a tortoise and a turtle are also different. For instance, the front feet of a turtle serves as fins. They also have webbed toes with slick back feet which enables them to swim. Meanwhile, tortoises have nubby, scaly tough feet that make it possible for it to crawl on land especially on rough terrain like sharp rocks

The eating habits of these two animals can also distinctively show you how different they are. For instance, turtles are omnivorous. That means they can feed on water plants, fish, insects and other small water creatures. Tortoises on the other hand are herbivorous. That means that they only feed on plants such as cactuses and other plants which have plenty of water or moisture in them.

The shells of these two creatures are also vastly different. A tortoise will have a well-rounded shell which is extremely rough and tough. This is important in protecting them from harsh weather climates as it can easily hide inside. Turtles, on the other hand, have a flatter shell which is less rounded and more streamlined. This feature helps the turtle to easily glide in water when swimming.

When it comes to reproduction, some turtles lay their eggs in water banks, while others lay their eggs on dry land. On few occasions, they will bask on the sunny banks and hibernate by digging themselves into the mud during the cold seasons. Tortoises always lay their eggs in dry land.

And that’s the difference between turtles and tortoises. That took some thinking!

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