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When Is It A Tortoise And Not A Turtle?

By Chris Taylor Monday, February 18, 2019

Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s blog. I was sitting around and thinking to myself, “Self, When is a turtle not a tortoise or vice versa? Then self said to me “well you have that really killer video clip of Ashley explaining the large fundamental differences between the two” and myself was right! Ok I am kidding but I do have the clip and it does give us some fundamental differences.

The largest one of course being the difference between being able to swim or not. Tortoises dwell on land. There are a great many other differences between them also. When you’re looking a tortoise you’ll see more of a dome shaped shell. A turtle’s shell is more streamlined to be aqua-dynamic (like aerodynamic but in water). A tortoise’s shell is generally heavier than a turtle’s also.

A Turtle’s Shell Is More Streamlined To Be Aqua-Dynamic

When you look at their appendages you see a fundamental difference as well. A tortoise has short feet that are pretty sturdy. A turtle has webbed feet with claws on them. A tortoise will live between 80 and 150 years while the lifespan of a turtle is 20 to forty years. The oldest tortoise on record was 326 years old. It’s name was Adwaita and it lived from 1750 to 2006 in India. The current champ is going strong at 186 years old on the Island of Saint Helena.

There are a lot of other really killer facts about the differences between the two and to help us talk more about the differences this week’s video features Ashley and Lexi in a keeper talk discussing the differences. Lexi is showing off a red footed tortoise. Don’t forget we have two Encounter Tours that begin daily at 11am and 1pm. Thanks and we’ll talk again next week!


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