turtle facts

Here at NG Kids we’re turtally mad about turtles, that’s why we’ve put together these ten terrific turtle facts!

These magnificent creatures come in all shapes and sizes and live in a number of different environments. They all belong to a group of reptiles called Testudines, which includes turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

From giant, slow-moving land-dwelling tortoises and snappy terrapins basking in their fresh-water lagoons, to the graceful strokes of a sea turtle gliding through our oceans – check out our ten totally awesome turtle facts, below!

Turtle facts

turtle facts

1. Turtles belong to one of the oldest reptile groups in the world – beating snakes, crocodiles and alligators!

2. These creatures date back to the time of the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago – woah!

3. Turtles are easily recognised by their bony, cartilaginous shell. This super-tough casing acts like a shield to protect them from predators – some turtles can even tuck their head up inside their shell for extra protection!

turtle facts

4. Just like your bones, a turtle’s shell is actually part of its skeleton. It’s made up of over 50 bones which include the turtle’s rib cage and spine.

Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Sea turtle primary resource? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

5. Contrary to popular belief, a turtle cannot come out of its shell. The turtle’s shell grows with them, so it’s impossible for them to grow too big for it!

6. What a turtle eats depends on the environment it lives in. Land-dwelling turtles will munch on beetles, fruit and grass, whereas sea dwellers will gobble everything from algae to squid and jellyfish.

turtle facts

7. Some turtles are carnivores (meat eaters), others are herbivores (plant eaters) and some are omnivores (a mixture of the two!). Many baby turtles start life as carnivores but grow to eat more plants as they mature.

8. Turtles are ‘amniotes’ – they breathe air and lay their eggs on land, although many species live in or around water.

9. These cold-blooded creatures have an incredibly long life span. The oldest ever recorded, named Tu”i Malila, of Tonga Island, passed away at the grand old age of 188!

turtle facts

10. Sadly, many species of turtle are endangered! 129 of approximately 300 species of turtle and tortoise on Earth today are either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered, according to the IUCN. Threats include loss of habitat, poaching and the illegal pet trade.

 

What do you think of our turtle facts? Let us know by leaving a comment, below!

Images ⓒ Getty Images: Turtle in water, (636749403) . Turtle on sand, (558962897) Turtle swimming, (502266246) . Baby turtle, (127834157)
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COMMENTS

  • Eden

    "With so many different types of turtle, there is no average size. The largest sea turtle species is the leatherback turtle. It weighs 600 to 1,500 lbs. (272 to 680 kilograms) and is about 4.5 to 5.25 feet (139 to 160 centimeters) long, according to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF)." This Live Science introduction to turtles includes details about their habitats, taxonomy, diet, offspring and other interesting facts.

  • hazelnut

    turtles are my fav sea animals! but my sister said that turtles eat jellyfish and they look like plastic so their endangered! save these turtle! :c

  • Toby

    Hi I like turtles

  • Eddy

    SAVE THE TURTLES :D

  • Toy

    Love turtles

  • Zul

    I like it

  • melissa

    This is great

  • maddie

    cool! i like all theses cool facts thanks

  • timiama

    I liked it but there was too much words and this is natgeo kids for kids to read and if I were a kid I wouldn't want to read it. Maybe add a bit more pictures and less words. But overall I really liked the facts ad the were very interesting

  • Sam

    SAVE DEM TURTLES NOW OR ELSE D: D:

  • Wow I love your page

  • I learned about turtles

  • Destical

    Turtles are my favourite animal in the world

  • chandler

    WOW!!!!!

  • Justin park

    I love sea turtles, especially leatherbacks, and I didn't know they're shells. I also didn't know some were land dwelling. I hope we can help turtles. Long live turtles.

  • cora

    i love turtles

  • Lexie

    These animals are my absolute fav and it was so fun learning more about their interesting life

  • Lexie

    Awesome

  • nice

  • bgnd lof01

    nice

  • Sharen

    Amaze

  • Maya

    turtles are my favourite reptile so l loove these facts

  • yinkbabaf@yahoo.com

    Intresting

  • Kyra

    These r cool

  • tortoise

    that is cool

  • Chloe

    i love theses turtle facts

  • TURTLE

    I LOVE TO STUDY ABOUT ANIMALS AND TURTLES ARE THE MOST AMAZING ANIMALS I HAVE STUDIED.

  • Pranav

    These facts are amazing!

  • zerella

    its amazing

  • amazing

  • LS-852384

    wow

  • aic8452

    cool

  • JACK.GD :P

    wow

  • cool

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