When is a turtle a tortoise?

Let’s know detail about when is a turtle a tortoise? Turtles and tortoises form a large group of reptiles characterized by a heavily armored shell. The protection this shell gives probably accounts for their survival, but it is not known exactly how this peculiar structure evolved.

When is a turtle a tortoise

Although the shell provides complete protection, it makes movement on land very slow and cumbersome, and most members of the group in fact live in the water. With the support of water the turtles have become good swimmers in both fresh and sea water.

In America all members of this group are called turtles, whereas in Britain this name is reserved for those that live in the sea. Those that live in fresh water are usually called terrapins and those that live on land are called tortoises.

When is a turtle a tortoise

The leatherback Turtle is the largest reptile found today. It has discarded a bony shell and instead has a streamlined, smooth, leathery skin. It grows to 7½ feet in length and weighs up to 1500 pounds.

Why is this Green Turtle crying?

The Green Turtle hauls its enormous 300 pound bulk up out of the sea to above the high water mark and digs a large pit in which to lay its eggs. Its long powerful flippers, so efficient for swimming at sea, are not very suitable on land and the female has to drag the huge weight of her body along.

Every few yards she stops for breath and with a huge sigh lifts the heavy shell from her body so that her lungs can fill with air. While on land her eyes are continually streaming and it has been suggested that she s reduced to tears by the exhausting task of laying her egg!

When is a turtle a tortoise

The Green Turtle (right and below) is the turtle we use to make soup. The eggs are also prized for food and the turtle has seriously declined in numbers recently due to heavy depredation by man. Attempts are being made to build up stocks aging, however.
This ridiculous-looking South American turtle is called the Matamata. Its extended neck bears flaps of skin that wave in the water and attract fishes. The Matamata then quickly opens its enormous mouth and the fishes are swept in.

This is, of course, not true and the tears are actually a way of removing  the extra salt the turtle takes in while feeding and drinking at sea. They are not seen until it comes ashore.

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