Tortoise Amazing facts

25 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Tortoise | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. There are around 40 different species of tortoise found around the world.
  2. A Tortoise is a turtle, but a turtle isn’t a tortoise because strictly speaking a turtle is any shelled reptile belonging to the order Chelonii. The term tortoise is more specific, referring to terrestrial turtles.
  3. Like other reptiles, tortoises are cold blooded animals.
  4. The main difference between tortoise and turtle is that tortoise is primarily land animal while turtle mainly live in sea. Tortoises have large dome shaped heavy shell while in turtles the shell is light, flat and streamlined. In tortoise feet are short and sturdy with bent legs while turtles have webbed feet and long claws making them glide easily.
  5. Tortoises are what is known as herbivores, they eat grass, ferns, flowers, tree leaves and fruit.
  6. Unlike turtles , tortoises can’t swim but they can hold their breath for a long time.
  7. A group of tortoises is called a creep but they are usually solitary animals.
  8. Female tortoises are usually larger than their male counterparts.
  9. Females dig burrows in which they can lay up anything from 1 to 30 eggs.
  10. When baby tortoises break out of their shells they’re called hatchlings. Tortoise eggs incubate between 90 to 120 days to hatch out.
  11. Tortoises can live for 150 years or more while turtles can live for up to 50 years.
  12. One can determine the sex of tortoise by their tail. Male tortoises have long tails whereas females have short tail. Male tails are kept tucked to the side.
  13. Giant tortoises keep growing their whole lives.
  14. Tortoises drink water through their noses.
  15. Tortoises have extremely strong mouths but no teeth instead they have horny type beaks.
  16. The top domed part of a tortoises’ shell is called the carapace, and the bottom underlying part is called the plastron. Both are connected by what is known as a bridge.
  17. The scales on the carapace are called scutes which are made of the same keratin found in fingernails and hooves. Scutes protect the bony plates of the shell from injury and infection. The growth rings around scutes can be counted to determine the approximate age of wild tortoises.
  18. The shell of a tortoise is made up of 60 different bones all connected together.
  19. Shell is actually an evolutionary modification of the rib cage and part of the vertebral column. And contrary to what many believe, tortoise can’t take off its shell and crawl out of it as it is part of skeleton.
  20. Tortoises have their signature ability to retract their heads inside their shells when frightened.
  21. Tortoises hindgut system works like a double digestive tract, separating water from their waste. When water’s scarce, they’ll hang on to last drop of water waste and simply excrete the urates, which look like white toothpaste.
  22. Adult tortoise can survive for many years without access to the water.
  23. Like other reptiles, tortoises detect the faintest of smells with the Jacobson’s Organ, on the roof of their mouths. Instead of flicking their tongues, they pump their throats to circulate air through the nose and around the mouth.
  24. Tortoises generally can perceive sounds in the 50 to 1,500 Hz range, compared to the typical human hearing range of 20 to 20,000 Hz.
  25. Adwaita the giant tortoise lived an estimated 255 years! It was originally owned by General Robert Clive of the East India who died in 1774 and left his already 34-year-old tortoise behind. Adwaita was eventually brought to an Indian zoo in 1875 and spent the rest of his life there dying in 2006. Scientists carbon dated his shell to around the year 1750!

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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