Believe it not, but there is an increasing number of people who buy pets that are neither canines, nor felines. There are many people who like buying pets like birds, snakes and turtles. But do turtles really make good pets? Is it good for them? And are they actually pretty mysterious animals with many secrets that most people don’t know? Well, you’re about to find out. Here’s 15 Unbelievable Facts About Turtles.
- Contrary to the popular belief, turtles aren’t amphibians, they are reptiles.
- And, turtles aren’t just reptiles, they are the oldest group of reptiles on Earth. They date back to about 220 million years, in the Triassic Period, back when dinosaurs were roaming our planet.
- Perhaps the single most iconic aspect of turtles physiology are their shells that they use for protection from predators. Most turtles can even tuck their heads and legs in side of their shells for extra protection. What many people don’t know is that these bony and cartilaginous shells are a part of their skeletons. These shells are connected to more than 50 different bones which include the turtle’s rib cage and spine.
- And so, also contrary to the popular belief, because their shells are part of their skeletons, turtles can’t just come out of them.
- Turtle diets depend on the habitats that those particular turtles live in. Land-dwelling turtles will munch on beetles, fruit and grass, while sea dwelling turtles will gobble everything from algae to squid and jellyfish.
- Some turtles are carnivores, others are herbivores and some are omnivores. baby turtles are often carnivores when they’re little, but become herbivores as they become older.
- Turtles are amniotes – they breathe air and lay eggs on the beach, many species live in or around water.
- Turtles are cold-blooded creatures who can have very long life spans. Their average life spans depend on their particular species. They can often range from 10 to 80 years. Larger turtles often live to be more than 100 years old. The oldest recorded turtle died at the age of 188.
- The size of turtles also varies greatly depending on their species. The biggest turtle species are the leatherback sea turtle who can weigh up to 900 kilograms or 2000 pounds!
- Sea turtles have special glands which help remove salt from the water they drink.
- There are about 300 species of turtles and tortoises on Earth and 129 of the mare considered to be endangered.
- Another point of confusion is the difference between turtles and tortoises. Turtles and tortoises are closely related. They are both reptiles from the same family (Testudines or Chelonian). The main difference between the two is that turtle is the name given to water-dwellers and tortoise is the name given to land-dwellers. Turtles have legs mainly designed to swim and tortoises have legs that are mainly designed to walk. Turtles also have slightly softer shells than tortoises.
- When do turtles become sexually mature? Again that depends on their species. Some do so at only few years of age, other do so when they’re 50 years old.
- Turtles are incredibly adaptive species and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
- Because turtle eggs are left in the sand on beaches, once the little turtles are born, they have to make their way to the top of the sand and scramble to the water while trying to avoid predators. And after that they have to survive in the water, catch prey and grow up on their own.
Clearly, turtles are amazing animals that are very different from all other living creatures. However, a lot of them are also endangered and need our help, so I would greatly encourage anyone who truly loves turtles to donate to charities that take care them and avoid buying turtle products. And that’s it for this 15 Unbelievable Facts About Turtles article.