8 Fun Facts About Turtles

By Tena Burdge March 18, 2024, 04:03 PM

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1. Ancient Creatures

Turtles are one of the oldest reptile groups, having been around for more than 200 million years. They lived alongside dinosaurs!

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2. Shell Variety

Turtles have a diverse range of shell shapes and sizes, from flat and round to domed and streamlined, depending on their species and habitat.

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3. Long Lifespan

Many turtle species have long lifespans. Some can live for decades or even over a century with proper care. The oldest recorded turtle was a Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan, who lived to be over 187 years old.

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4. Unique Defense Mechanism

Turtles retract their heads, tails, and limbs into their shells for protection when they feel threatened. This adaptation helps them avoid predators.

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5. Ecosystem Engineers

Some turtle species, such as the red-eared slider, play an essential role in their ecosystems by helping to control populations of aquatic plants and insects.

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6. Cold-Blooded Creatures

Turtles are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. They bask in the sun to warm up and may seek shade or water to cool down.

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7. Excellent Swimmers

Many turtle species are well-adapted for swimming and spend most of their lives in water. They use their webbed feet or flippers to propel themselves through the water with ease.

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8. Migratory Behaviors

Some turtle species undertake impressive migrations, traveling thousands of miles between their nesting and feeding grounds. For example, the leatherback sea turtle migrates across entire ocean basins in search of jellyfish, their primary food source.

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