Turtle vs. Tortoise

Turtle vs. Tortoise

Turtles and tortoises are closely related. They are both reptiles from the same family (Testudines or Chelonian). The main difference between the two is that turtle is the name given to water-dwellers and tortoise is the name given to land-dwellers. They are easily identified by the presence of a shell, from which their head and limbs protrude.

Turtles are found in Africa and America. Its shell is lighter and more streamlined than that of a tortoise. To enable swimming, it has webbed feet with long claws. Turtles are omnivores, eating both vegetation and meat. Their life span is shorter than that of the tortoise with an average of 20-40 years and a maximum of 86 years.

Tortoises are found mainly in Asia and Africa, but also in America. It has a rounder, bumpier, heavier shell than a turtle. Its bent legs are short and sturdy. Tortoises are usually herbivores, but some eat meat. Their life span is longer than that of the turtle with an average of 80-150 years and a maximum of 188 years.

Turtles and tortoises are both kept as pets, but can be difficult to care for because of their long life span. Turtles are more common as pets, though tortoises are easier to care for.

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