WORLD TURTLE DAY!
Happy World Turtle Day! We’re celebrating our favorite reptilian four legged friends! Turtles, tortoises and terrapins come in all shapes and sizes! We’ve met all kinds of turtles including a Leatherback Sea turtle who was laying her eggs and a Green sea turtle while snorkeling! Turtles and tortoises are just fantastic!
They all have shells that are part of their skeletons! In fact if you could look inside a turtle’s shell you would see their spinal vertebrates and rib cage!
The difference between turtles, tortoises and terrapins mainly is their habitat. Generally turtles spend their lives in water or near water and tortoises live on land. Terrapins also live near water, but prefer brackish habitats (water that is a mix of fresh and salt). Turtles generally have webbed feet and tortoises have flat stumpy feet.
The individual plates on a turtles shell are called scutes! These are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up your hair and nails!
Turtles and tortoises live all over the world except in the Arctic and Antarctic. They even live in the world’s oceans! Turtles and tortoises are also kept as pets. They can be wonderful additions to one’s home, but they do require special housing and food. It is very very important that you do your homework before getting a turtle. Make sure you get them from a reputable breeder. Releasing your pet into the wild because they get too big or they seem boring is bad for the turtle and the natural habitat.
So let’s celebrate turtles with some great pictures! You can also check out our posts that featured turtles and tortoises including the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, African Helmeted Turtle, Twist Necked Turtles, African Spur-Thighed Tortoise, Indian Star Tortoise and the Red Footed Tortoise.
Many species of turtles or tortoises are threatened or endangered, especially our sea turtle friends. You can help them by picking up your trash (often sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellies). You can also provide a good back yard habitat for wild turtles. If you see a turtle crossing the road, remember to put them on the side they were heading too. Remember if you find a turtle in your yard, leave it there. Turtles are fun to watch, but wild ones do not make good pets. Check out a great organization that is working hard to save sea turtles The Sea Turtle Conservancy!