Difference Between Turtle and Tortoise

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Comparison Table Between Turtle and Tortoise (in Tabular Form)

PARAMETER OF COMPARISONTURTLETORTOISE
DefinitionTurtles are a type of reptiles that are mainly characterized by their cartilaginous or bony shell that gets developed directly from the ribs.Tortoises are also reptiles and belong to the family of Testudinidae.
The shape of the ShellThe shell is mostly streamlined and flat.The shell is mostly large and dome-shaped that appears as bumps on top.
LimbsHave webbed feet and long claws.Tortoises have short feet that are sturdy and slightly bent.
BirthBaby turtles remain in their nest for around 90 days to 120 days.Baby tortoises tend to move away from their nest to a burrow that is made by their mother within a few days after birth.
Lifespan20 years to 40 years.80 years to 150 years.
DietTurtles are omnivorous and prefer to have fruits, meat, and leafy veggies.Tortoises are mainly herbivorous by nature, although some species prefer live food.
Weight of the ShellShells are normally light-weight.Shells are much heavier.
DistributionAmerica and Africa.Mostly found in Africa and Asia.

What is Turtle?

Several types of reptiles are present on land and underwater. Turtles are one of them.

These reptiles have a streamlined and flat shell that originates from their ribs and also acts as a shield for them.

When you talk about a turtle, it may refer to either the sea-dwelling and fresh-water Testudines, which is British English or as a whole in American English.

The classification of Testudines includes extinct species, as well as, living or extant species. The first-ever known variety of this specific group goes back to the Mid Jurassic age.

This makes turtles one of the more ancient and oldest reptile groups than any type of crocodilians or snakes.

Main Differences Between Turtle and Tortoise

  1. Both turtles and tortoises are reptiles and belong to the Chelonian family. However, the former is mainly found underwater and the latter is found on land.
  2. Turtles are mainly found in the waters of America and Africa, whereas, tortoises are found on the lands of Africa and Asia.
  3. Turtles have streamlined and flat shells that help them to swim underwater. Tortoises have thicker, bigger, and heavier dome-shaped shells that provide better protection from probable danger.
  4. The feet of turtles are webbed and have long claws. However, tortoises have bent legs that are sturdy and short.
  5. Turtles like to feed on meat, leafy vegetation, fruits, and veggies and are termed as omnivores. On the other hand, tortoises are herbivores and like to feed on green vegetation. However, some species like to eat live food.
  6. Turtles belong to a variety of families such as Carettochelyidae or the pig-nosed type of turtle, Emydidae or the water or pond turtles, and Dermatemydidae or the Central American river turtles

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