Turtles are reptiles with hard shells that protect them from predators. They are among the oldest and most primitive groups of reptiles, having evolved millions of years ago. Turtles live all over the world in almost every type of climate. Turtles spend most of their lives in water. They are adapted for aquatic life, with webbed feet or flippers and a streamlined body.
Freshwater turtles live in ponds and lakes, and they climb out of the water onto logs or rocks to bask in the warm sun. While most freshwater turtles have bone like shells, three species known as soft shell turtles have fleshy shells adapted for swimming. Turtle shells provide protection from predators. Snapping turtles, such as the Florida snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle, can bite with great force and reach large sizes. One easy way to tell them apart is to look at their feet and shells. Water turtles have flippers or webbed feet with long claws, and their shells are flatter and more streamlined.
Tortoises have stubby, elephant-like feet and heavier, domed shells. And they have extremely strong mouths but no teeth, instead they have horny type beaks. They are herbivorous and can’t swim at all. They can also live a very long time, some to the old age of 150. However, the average age a tortoise can live to ranges from 90 to 150 years.
Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells. Their color varies between yellow, greenish and black depending on the species. What sea turtles eat include jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, sponges, snails, algae and mollusks. Sea turtles rarely leave the ocean, except to lay eggs in the sand. Sea turtles are found in all warm and temperate waters throughout the world and migrate hundreds of miles between nesting and feeding grounds. It takes at least 20 – 50 years to reach to full maturity and a healthy sea turtle can expect to live 80-100 years or even longer!
There is many more different kinds of turtles in this world, and they have many different habitats and eating habits.