When people hear the word Turtle they only visualize the marine creature that is from the tortoise family. What they do not know is that there are many types of turtles. The varieties available globally are more than 300 in number. Their body shapes and characters differentiate them, which makes it easier to classify them. You will find many strange characteristics that the turtles have, for instance the difference in size between the largest turtle, which is Leatherback Sea Turtle that is 6.6 feet long and weighs 2,000 lbs, and Speckled Padloper Tortoise. The Speckled Padloper Tortoise is 3.1 inches long and weighs only 5 Oz.
Reptiles’ characteristics have evolved with time and it can be seen in the diverse differences that the various species have. Each family possesses its unique characteristics that make it exciting to learn about the different types of turtles. Fossil records indicate that turtles existed over 200 million years ago. We now look at some of the facts about their different species.
The Difference between a Turtle and a Tortoise
Most people get confused when it comes to the usage of the two terms. The main difference about the two reptiles is their residence. A turtle is a reptile that resides in both oceans and freshwater bodies. Those that survive on the dry land are the tortoises. Language interpretations mostly bring about the confusion. The above explanation is based on British English, while in American English the word turtle generalizes all the species that are in this family.
The Various Types of Turtles
All turtles originate from the Testudines order that is further divided into other fourteen categories. Some of the individual types of turtles are explained below.
It is a huge family of turtles that include Olive Ridley, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Kemps and Green Sea Faring Turtle.
They are among the smallest turtles available, where an adult Olive turtle has a length of up to 2 ˝ feet and weighs up to 110 pounds. The turtle are mostly found in the warm tropical water bodies.
These turtles are at times referred by many names such as Pig-nosed Turtle, Pitted-Shelled or Fly River turtle, and they are the only living turtles from this family. They are mainly found in Northern Australia and Southern New Guinea.
Only two genera from this family exist. They can be found mainly in the Western Hemisphere.
Musk and Mud Turtles
These turtles are among the smallest in the turtle family, with a length of about 5 inches. Their shells have a brown or black color that usually gathers algae just like a stone. The Musk and Mud turtle has distinctive bands on the head, with barbells along the throat and chin area. Unlike their sibling mud turtles, they have a smaller belly shell (Plastron)
The dorsal keel can only be seen in the loggerheads and razorback, but the carapaces for all the musk and mud Turtles are oval-shaped. Those of the razorbacks are 6 inches long while the loggerheads have 13.5cm carapaces.
The turtles dwell in different water bodies around the USA. They like shallow waters that have beds full of organic materials.
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Turtles are delicate to handle, you will need to research about the Types of Turtles like Musk and Mud Turtles , and their requirements before you think of captivating any. Preparation of their dwellings should be done with utmost care to ensure that it conforms to the conditions that the turtle requires.
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