All About Turtles and Tortoises!
Let’s be honest, turtles and tortoises are mysterious and strange creatures! They're egg-laying, scaly reptiles with oval-shaped hard-shells. Tortoises live on land while turtles live in the water. Read below for some awesome turtle and tortoise facts!
- Turtle shells have two parts: an upper section, the carapace, and a lower portion called the pastron, which are joined by a bony bridge. Some turtles have a moveable joint, usually in the plastron, which acts as a hinge and enables the creature to pull the two shell sections together tightly while it retracts its body inside.
- Tortoises orbited the moon before astronauts did! In September 1968, the Societ Union launched a space probe to orbit the moon and test conditions. The probe included a life-size human mannequin and a pair of Russain tortoises
- The alligator snapping turtle catches prey by way of a clever evolutionary adaptation: an appendage to its tongue that, when wriggled, looks an awful lot like a worm, according to the Saint Louis Zoo. These guys can grow 2.5 feet long, can weigh as much as 200 pounds, and powerful jaws, a sharply-hooked beak, nasty bearlike claws and a muscular tail.
- They make sounds, even though they lack vocal cords! They can make sounds by swallowing or by forcing air out of their longs.
- Males select potential mates by sniffing tails.
- They don’t have ears, but they can perceive low-pitched sounds
- Turtles are nearly as old as dinosaurs!
- Turtles breathe without a diaphragm
- Just like us, they have favorite colors!
- The African helmeted turtle smells so bad it has been compared to skunks.