Where Do Turtles Live?
Have you always wondered where turtles live? Well, aside from the house that they carry along with them, you might have thought, where does the natural environment of turtles lie? It may be around the waters or land, but there has to be a specific place where they gather. To discover more about where turtles live, lets dive deeper about them in this article!
What are Turtles?
Before turning into the actual topic, it would be nice to discover first what turtles are. Are they mammals? Are they part of the reptile family or the amphibians? Turtles are considered reptiles. In general, they are defined as a slow-moving reptile enclosed in a leathery domed shell into which it can withdraw its thick legs and head.
This species is also classified as amniotes together with the other reptiles like mammals and birds. More specifically, amniotes are animals whose embryos grow in a chorion and amnion and have allantois. Therefore, like the other amniotes, turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater.
Where Do Turtles Live?
The question of where do turtles live has confused many people around the world. While you can sometimes see that they move out from water to land, turtles can survive and adapt either from these habitats.
In short, Turtles can be terrestrial, aquatic, or semi-aquatic. Tortoises are one type of turtle that can live on land but cannot dwell in the water. On the other hand, Chelonia mydas and sea turtles swim around the southern Caribbean reef allowing them to live in the water.
But what's more interesting to know is that turtles spend most of their lives in the water. They are mainly adaptive to survive for aquatic life with flippers and a streamlined body shape. As already mentioned, sea turtles are one of these marine creatures that live primarily in the water.
They rarely leave the ocean unless it's about time to lay their eggs in the sand. Likewise, Freshwater turtles live in lakes and ponds where they climb out of the water to sunbathe under the warm sun.
These are some of the significant facts about where turtles live and their living environment. For a deeper understanding, discover how to differentiate whether a turtle lives on land or water below.
Turtles That Live on Land & Water
Where do turtles live, you may ask. There are two specific locations where this animal can stay. But what are these turtles? At some point, all turtles look similar to one another. Hence, they differ in their sizes, shape, and texture. See more details about this topic below.
Their Shell Types
One of the main features of every turtle is its shell. Take note that most of the water-dwelling turtles have developed to become improved swimmers and portray metamorphic development through their shells. You'll certainly know if it is an aquatic turtle if its shell is leathery. However, you have to remember also that not all marine turtles come with soft shells.
For instance, even those aquatic turtles with bony and more rigid shells come with sleeker visibility. They’re not as high as compared with their species that are land-bound. In short, turtles who live in the water are longer than being tall.
You may not have considered differentiating their diet, but the land and water turtles both have a standard and rare diet. What's even surprising for some is that neither of these turtles has teeth. Yet, you have to be mindful that their jaws are stiff and strong.
In connection with that, you can identify what kind of turtle species they are through their jaw size and shape. Typically, land turtles are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and meat. On the other hand, sea turtles can be herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores based on their kinds.
Also, newborn sea turtles are forthwith omnivores that will eat tiny water creatures and plants. But as they go by adulthood, most sea turtles switch their diets into vegetation only. Interesting facts about turtles, right? Wait until you hear more of it below.
Their Legs & Claws
Another thing for you to identify where turtles live is by their claws and legs. Well, you haven't thought of that thing, didn't you?
Surprisingly, aquatic and land turtles make use of their legs and claws differently. Do note that turtles who live down the water come with webbed claws. They also have flap skin between their claws that enables them to swim more smoothly. Usually, the claws of aquatic turtles are sharper and longer compared to land turtles.
On another note, land turtles do not have any sharp or webbing claws. Often, you can see that a turtle’s claws are dull from hunting for food. However, don't underestimate these claws as they can help them walk easier on lands that are dry. Land turtles also need to stand high as much as they can to make it with minor obstacles like plants and rants.
But there's a catch! Even if some turtles are classified as aquatic, these species need to go into dry land to lay eggs, basking, and make internal temperature regulations.
Land turtles mostly live in grassland or semi-desert areas within the ground or rough terrain. Tortoises live in temperatures between 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit worldwide. At the same time, you can find Sea Turtles in various water environments, including bays, seas, lagoons, and shallow coastal regions. All in all, both land and sea turtles can be found worldwide, especially in warm and temperate places.
The Bottom Line
While it is true that many people are confused about whether turtles live on land or water, differentiating each species from one another is relatively easy. It will always vary with their size, shape, texture, diet, and even appearance. Still, when asked where do turtles live, the answer would only fall to water and land.
The next time you’ll get confused whether you see if it’s an aquatic or land turtle, try to look into their claws, shells and if they are longer or taller. From there, you’ll easily identify what kind of turtle species they are.
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