Turtles are reptiles and cold blooded. They come in all shapes and sizes and live in many different environments. They have existed for around 215 million years and they live on average for 50-100 years. The largest turtle is the leatherback sea turtle, it can weigh over 900 kg! (2000 lb). The smallest Turtle in the World is the Speckled Padloper Tortoise.
Tortoises are land animals that dig big burrows with their round stumpy feet. Tortoises are solitary roamers. Some mother tortoises are protective of their nests, but they don’t care for their young after they hatch. Tortoises have an exoskeleton AND an endoskeleton.
Freshwater turtles that live in ponds and lakes, but they do climb out of the water to get sun and warm up. They can hold their breath for five hours underwater. They slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes in between heart beats in order to conserve oxygen.
Sea turtles usually spend most of their lives in water. They have webbed flippers and a streamlined body. The only time sea turtles leave the water is to lay eggs in the sand. Some species of turtle the temperature determines if the egg will develop into a male or female, lower temperatures lead to a male while higher temperatures lead to a female. Some turtles lay eggs in the sand and leave them to hatch on their own. The young turtles make their way to the top of the sand and scramble to the water while trying to avoid predators. They also think that jellyfish are delicious!
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