Fast Facts for Kids
Turtle Facts for Kids

Turtle Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Turtle
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Subgroups: Cryptodira and Pleurodira
  • Total Species: 360
  • Diet: Omnivorous (Plants and Meat)
  • First Appeared: ~230 million years ago

27 Turtle Facts For Kids

  1. Turtle is the common name for a group of reptiles in the Testudines order.
  2. You can identify a turtle by their hard shell covering their entire body and slow movements.
  3. Turtles and their ancestors first started to appear at least 230 million years ago.
  4. The distribution range for turtles is worldwide, including continents, islands, and oceans.
  5. Turtles live in a wide variety of habitats, varying by species, from deep in the ocean to high mountainous terrain.
  6. Virtually all turtle species are omnivores, feeding on both meat and plant material.
  7. Turtles species that live on land tend to eat more plant material, while turtle species that live in aquatic environments eat more meat.
  8. Turtles can recoil into their shells as a defense mechanism when they are threatened.
  9. A turtles shell is broken into two parts, the carapace (domed top) and the plastron (bottom belly).
  10. A turtles shell has between 50 and 60 bones, depending on the turtle species.
  11. There are 360 turtle species living worldwide in various geographical regions and environments.
  12. Turtle species belong to one of two groups, Cryptodira or Pleurodira.
  13. Turtle species in the Cryptodira group are known as hidden necked turtles.
  14. Turtle species in the Pleurodira group are known as side necked turtles.
  15. The Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata) is an example of a hidden necked turtle in the Cryptodira group.
  16. The eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) is an example of a side necked turtle in the Pleurodira group.
  17. Turtle species can be terrestrial (land), semi-aquatic (land and water), or fully aquatic (water only).
  18. The Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) is an example of a turtle that lives only on land.
  19. The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is an example of a turtle that lives both on land and in water.
  20. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is an example of a turtle that lives almost entirely in the water.
  21. The largest living turtle species is the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) weighing ~1,100 pounds.
  22. The smallest living turtle species is the speckled turtle (Chersobius signatus) weighing ~6.1 ounces.
  23. The largest turtle known to ever exist was the Archelon ischyros and lived between 66 and 100 million years ago.
  24. The Archelon ischyros reached a length of 15 feet and weighed between 2.2 and 3.2 tons.
  25. There are many turtle species that are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change, and commercial fishing.
  26. Turtles are a popular household pet, with millions of homes in the United States estimated to have a pet turtle.
  27. A popular turtle species kept as a pet is the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina).

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Turtle Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on turtles. Below are six pictures of various turtle species. These pictures should help you better understand the different types of turtles found around the world.

The Red Bellied Short Necked Turtle (Emydura Subglobosa)

A picture of the red bellied short necked turtle (emydura subglobosa).

The Indian Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys Punctata)

A picture of the Indian flapshell turtle (lissemys punctata).

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata)

A picture of the hawksbill sea turtle (eretmochelys imbricata).

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis Niger)

A picture of the Galapagos giant tortoise (chelonoidis niger).

The European Pond Turtle (Emys Orbicularis)

A picture of the European pond turtle (emys orbicularis).

The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas)

A picture of the green sea turtle (chelonia mydas).

Turtle Resources

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