Turtles, Tortoises, Terrapins – are they the same? Here are some incredible facts you didn’t know about these cuties but they are not all so little are they? And they are not all the same, they are different.
- There are 3 types – Turtles, Tortoises, and Terrapins.
- There are 270 types of turtles.
- Turtles spend most of their time in water.
- Tortoises live on land.
- Terrapins typically spend their time evenly between land and fresh water.
- Turtles typically eat insects, really small fish, and dark leafy greens.
- Tortoises are herbivores – they eat fresh vegetables (80% of their diet) and fruit (20% of their diet).
- The most common bacterial disease turtles carry is salmonella which can be transmitted to humans and can cause serious problems.
- Turtles spend most of their life in the water. They need a place to swim and come out for some sun.
- Turtles are loved because of their facial expressions, gentleness, and attractive shell patterns.
- Freshwater turtles submerge themselves under water to eat.
- If freshwater turtles remain out of the water too long, they can dry out which may cause them to die.
- Water turtles, also called aquatic turtles, spend most of their time in water. They live like fish do most of the time.
- Turtles do not like being handled and you run the risk of coming in contact with salmonella if you handle a turtle.
- Turtles can easily live up to 20 or 30 years.
- Aquatic turtles are active swimmers.
- Most turtles need a “basking in the sun” spot.
- Don’t collect turtles from the wild. Many states restrict wild collections. Many turtle species are threatened or endangered making it illegal to collect them.
- Never release any unwanted turtles into the wild. They may not be equipped to handle the local environmental conditions.
- Do think about joining the American Tortoise Rescue to shellebrate World Turtle Day 2018 on May 23, 2018!
So if you ever encounter a turtle, tortoise, or terrapin, it’s best to leave them alone unless they are sick or injured. If a turtle, tortoise, or terrapin needs medical attention, then contact a turtle rescue organization for help. A turtle rescue organization can organize a rescue and transportation to the nearest turtle hospital or sanctuary very quickly.
People have always been curious about turtles, but it is always best to admire these beautiful creatures from afar. The few turtles we have encountered tend to be on the shy side and move away from us rather quickly.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below. We always are ready to help.