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What Makes a Tortoise Different From a Turtle?

Differences between a Tortoise and a Turtle?

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Terrapins, tortoises and turtles all belong to chelonian which is a particular group of reptiles.

Characteristics of a Tortoise

• It is a turtle type. However, not every turtle is considered as a tortoise.
• It has a taxonomic family named testudinidae.
• It consumes carrion, worms, insects, leafy greens, fruits, plants, cacti, shrubs, weeds, flowers and grasses for its nutrition.
• It has a rounded shell which protects the animal’s head and limbs in times of danger.
• It has claws to aid it in digging burrows where it can rest and stay during the summer season.
• It has scaly and hard feet
• It doesn’t migrate all the time.
• It can walk on sand and sharp rocks.
• It can store its own water.
• It can be found in most arid regions for it doesn’t live underwater. It goes to water regions for a drink or for a bath from time to time for it doesn’t have the ability to swim at all.

Characteristics of a Turtle

• The word turtle is applied by average individuals and biologists to refer to all the species which can be found in chelonia.
• It consumes other fish, insects and plants as its food.
• Its hibernating process is called torpor. It hides in mud during the winter season as well. As for turtles which live in the sea, they transfer to farther places during this time of the year.
• It usually lay on sandy banks, rocks and logs during the summer season.
• It has a flatter back compared to a tortoise.
• Its feet at the back are streamlined to aid it in swimming.
• Its feet in front can either be toes that are webbed or actual fins.
• It can breathe and swim under fresh water, marshlands, brackish ponds and oceans for a lifetime.
• Its habitat can be found near sea water or in the ocean itself. It produces its off springs on the same places.
• It has different forms, hues and sizes.

What is a Terrapin?

• It is an animal that has the characteristics of both a tortoise and a turtle.
• It acts like amphibians which can live underwater during their early stage of life and stay on land as they continue to mature.
• It can be found in swamps.

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