Turtle are reptiles, their body is covered by special bony shell developed from their ribs. They are cold blooded animals (i.e they maintain their body temperature). Most of them who spend most of their life on land have their eyes looking down at objects in front of them. Aquatic turtles have eyes closer to the top of the head, they possess glands near their eyes that produce salty tears that rid their body of excess salt taken in from the water they drink. They eat plants, jellyfish, shrimp, and clams.
Facts About Turtles
- Turtles cannot breathe in water, but they can hold their breath for several periods of time.
- Adult sea turtles can weigh from 150 – 1000 pounds!
- They are thought to have exceptional night vision due to the unusually large number of rod cells in their retinas.
- They use their jaws to cut and chew food. Some turtles can live for more than a year without food.
- They lay soft and leathery eggs. The eggs of largest species are of round shape while the eggs of other turtle species are elongated. They deposits their eggs in holes dug in sand or mud and incubate the eggs themselves. Some turtle lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches. They lay 100-120 eggs in the nest and take about 2 months to incubate and their sex is determined by the temperature. Temperature determines whether an egg develops into a male or a female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male.
- The baby turtles crawl fast to the water.
- Turtles have been on the earth for more than 215 million years.
- The top domed part of a turtle's shell is called the carapace and the bottom underlying part is called the plastron. Most land tortoises have high domed carapaces that offer protection from the snapping jaws of terrestrial predators. They withdraw their neck into their shell for protection.
- The shell of a turtle is made up of 60 different bones all connected together.
- When in danger the green turtle can swim almost 20 miles an hour to escape.