Turtle: an aquatic or semi-aquatic animal with webbed feet.

Tortoise: a terrestrial animal with clubbed feet, domed shell and generally inhabiting warmer regions.

Whatever we call them, these animals are a unique tie to a period of earth’s history all but lost in the living world. Turtles are some of the oldest reptilian species on the earth, virtually unchanged in 200 million years or more.

These slow-moving, toothless, egg-laying creatures date back to the dinosaurs and still retain traits they used to survive then. Although many turtles spend most of their lives in water, they are air-breathing animals and must come to the surface to breathe. If they spend all this time in water, why do we see them on logs, rocks and the shoreline so often? Unlike birds and mammals, turtles are ectothermic, or coldblooded, meaning they rely on the temperature around them to regulate their body temperature. Basking on a log or rock is a convenient way for them to warm their bodies. Like most ectothermic animals, they do not tolerate radical temperature swings well. On reaching maturity, a turtle will often travel considerable distances over land in search of nesting sites. This poses yet another danger in the world of the 21st century – collision with cars. Turtles crossing roads are among the wildlife victims of our fast-paced society, often in very significant numbers This is how a car ran over a turtle.


More information on why turtles are slow on water and fast on land

Sangeetha Pulapaka
Hey, serious sam! Your answers are pretty good! But, why show such a depressing video? You could have shown the video of a turtle getting saved by a Samaritan instead. It would send a better message. OR
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How do turtles live so much longer than other animals? | Ask Dr ...

May 15, 2017 ... You're right, turtles and tortoises live a lot longer than most other animals. If you were a turtle, you might live for more than 150 years.

For more information, see How do turtles live so much longer than other animals? | Ask Dr ...