Most people think that a turtle shell is one they find and decide to live in, as a snail would. But actually, it is the opposite. A turtle is born with its sheel attached to its back, and as the turtle grows, the shell grows as well. Turtles never have to relocate from their shells and cannot live without them. It's as if the shell is its skeleton on the outside of its body. Hard as a rock, the turtle's shell is made of bony plates that are overlaid with a horny shield. The upper half of a turtle shell is called the carapace. It protects the turtle's insides and keeps preditors away while camoflaging. The lower half of the shell is called the plastron. This covers the animal's most sensitive spot, its belly. Joined at the sides, it serves as a mobile protection center. Most species of turtles have this protection center, although the New Guinea turtle and the Leatherback turtle do not. Instead, they use their thick, leather-like skin for protect. That's how that species recieved its name!


So many people ask 'Where do turtles' heads go?' The answer is inside their shell! The neck retracts inward, then bunches up inside lin an S-shaped curl. Doing this, they save their heads, and brains, from attack from a preditor. That is also how they sleep, with head and limbs inside their protective shell. Almost all turtles have this. Though, The Side-Necked turtles do not. Can you guess what their necks do? They slide their heads sideways, in either direction. Doing this, they confuse their attacker and can reach to objects around them without moving their entire bodies.


How do you tell the differnce between a male and female turtle? Simply. But, you can only tell gender difference on adult turtles because their bodies are extreamly similar when young. Every turtle has a hole or vent on its tail called a cloaca. On a male turtle, the cloacas are further at the end. On a female turtle, it's towards the edge of the shell. Also, the bottom of a female turtle is convex, while a male turtle's plastron is concave. A female plastron has to be convex so that there is room for the eggs she will lay to sit. Male turtles jave long front claws as well. But surprisingly, a female is larger than a male turtle!

Describe a turtle:
  • It is a reptile
  • They have beaks, not mouths.
  • Has a toothless jaw.
  • Has an amor-like shell.
  • Live for around 80 years.


Turtles live in many parts of the world. The map above shows the Worldwide Green Turtle Nesting Sites 2011. It shows that many turtles live in the Pacific Ocean, between Australia and Asia. Turtles live of of bugs, vegitables like kale and lettuce, small fish, pellets, and crickets. Surprisingly enough, turtles have just about the same bones we have! Though, they also have a shell to protect their ribs, which of course, we don't have.

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