10 Best Fun facts about Turtles VS Tortoises

Turtles VS Tortoises, Is it a turtle or a tortoise? Hard to tell? We got you covered. It’s one of those creatures which can put anyone in confusion.  The main thing is that when they are in their baby stage they are actually very hard to differentiate. Basically, turtles are associated with the water whereas tortoises are more inclined towards roaming the land. That’s why we are writing this article “turtles and tortoises”. 

What’s the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

In order not to get confused while identifying a turtle or a tortoise plus also not putting their life at stake as well because they both live in different habitats. It is essential to learn the differences between these two creatures because many people confuse tortoises with turtles and throw them in the sea in order to save them while they are actually killing them.


Talking about their habitat they are mainly found in the regions of the U.S and Africa. Physiologically, their shells are flatter and are more aerodynamic. As they are made up for swimming, they have hovers or we can say flippers the same feet shoes that we wear while scuba diving. They also have a shorter life period as compared to tortoises. They live up to 20-40 years of age and at their best, they can reach 86 years of age. Turtles are omnivores in nature which means they eat both plant and animal products. This will give you a better understanding about turtles and tortoises.


These creatures are confined to regions of Asia and Africa and also in some states of America. Its shell is quite different from turtle; it’s heavy and more uplifted as well and its texture is a little more granular and bumpier than a turtle. These few are the basics about turtles and help you to differentiate between turtles and tortoises. Their legs are twisted and their feet are toed as well making them more suitable to explore land than water. Talking about the eating pattern, they are herbivores, but there are some rare species that may eat meat as well as an adaptive technique. Do you want to know about How Tortoises Sleep?

Turtles VS Tortoises, How to tell a turtle from a tortoise

There is a wildlife biologist which says: “Those all are turtles.” Confused? But that’s true the term “Turtle” is a broader term which we confuse with typically every animal belonging to the group Testudines. This group contains almost 200 species including tortoises, terrapins, and turtles.

Turtles have a specific kind of gesture walk called “to lumber” which means to walk in a slow, heavy award way. This is mainly because of their physiology, they have both exoskeleton and endoskeleton. Surprisingly their pelvic girdle is in their rib cage and the vertebral column is fused with their shell giving rise to very complex anatomy.

The major distinction between turtles and tortoises:

Turtles are mainly aquatic but can live on both land and water whereas tortoises are primarily equipped for land. One of the most eye-catching features from which anyone can tell the distinction between the turtle and the tortoise is their feet. Tortoise feet are similar to that of the tires of a truck, as the truck tires are supposed to lift the heavyweight of the truck same goes for the tortoise their feet are supposed to lift their heavy shells. But when we talk about the turtles their feet are webbed like kappa or they are much similar to that of the flippers of a scuba diver and are made up of swimming in water rather than roam on the land.

Difference between turtles and tortoises on the basis of head movement:

There are two narrower categories of turtles which are classified on the basis of their neck movement or how they hide in their shells.

There is a turtle called “Desert mud Turtle”, it can hide its head immediately straight into the shell without any hindrance but there also some turtles whose neck movement is towards one side like “Mata Mata” a turtle which is mainly found in America. They move their heads towards the side and hide on one side in their shells.

Last but not least there is a species called terrapin which is mistaken for a tortoise but is a turtle.

Turtles VS Tortoises, The need to know the difference:

 Why there is a need to tell the difference between turtles and tortoises. As we all know they are hard to differentiate in their duckling age and so many tortoise babies are dedicated to the ocean’s soil while people think they are turtles. So these practices can put these beautiful creatures on the list of endangered species. Also. They are slow reproducers which make them more prone to extinction.

People usually like to pet turtles from the sea, particularly the baby ones, thinking that they are cute but can grow much bigger and can become hard to handle. It is always advised to pet a tortoise or a turtle from a pet shop or stores that are dedicated to animal life and know more than you. If you do not know if it’s a turtle or a tortoise don’t make a blunder and leave them as it is because these creatures survived far before you and there are fair chances that they can survive the earth even after humans.

Turtle’s v/s tortoise speed

Generally speaking, the speed is much faster than the tortoise why? They even move faster on the land as well not just in water. The reason lies in their shells. The shells of the tortoise are much heavier than that of the turtle. On the other hand, shells of the tortoise are very streamlined and are shaped like that they get easy to carry.

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Fun facts about Turtles VS Tortoises

  1. The tortoise can show the features of a turtle. But a turtle cannot be a tortoise.
  2.  The collection of tortoises is called “Array”.
  3. The military of Romans was actually inspired by tortoises. Their protective shields were made according to the concept of a tortoise’s hard shell.
  4. Turtles have both kinds of skeletons; exoskeleton and an endoskeleton.
  5. Both turtles and tortoises have shells on their bodies which are called “Socrates”.
  6. Tortoises are one of the oldest creatures on Earth.
  7. Turtles can live for up to one hundred and fifty years.
  8. Turtles cannot listen very eagerly.
  9. They can only process some sound frequencies.
  10. Turtles can hold up their breaths for a very long period of time.

Turtles VS Tortoises fight

Turtles are generally very quiet and shy animals and they are very rare to be seen fighting. Sometimes pet tortoises when placed in the same enclosure they seem to fight because there are some species which are aggressive in nature.

Question and answers

What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

The main difference between turtles and tortoises are their shells and their feet. Turtle’s feet are webbed while tortoise feet are clawed. The shell of a turtle is aerodynamically made to aim to dive and swim in the water. Also, turtles are adapted to marine or aquatic lifestyle while tortoises live on land, though both can do hibernation.

Is there a difference between turtle and tortoise?

Turtles and tortoises have very close similarities but they are not exactly the same. In fact, a tortoise can have some turtle-like properties but turtles cannot have tortoise-like features. Yes, turtles are made for aquatic lifestyles whereas tortoises are made up of land and to walk on the land.

What is the main difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

 Though both turtles and tortoises belong to the same order they are classified into different families. They appear similar to us but they are not. The main difference between them is their lifestyle and their shells and feet.

Difference between turtle and tortoise?

Above we have given you all the information and basic differences between turtles and tortoises. Tortoise’s feet are more designed to walk on land like the elephant’s feet. While those of turtles can swim easily in water. This is the main difference between them. 

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