Turtle Facts

Turtles come in all shapes and sizes and exist on land and in the sea. Turtles have been around for millions of years and some turtles live longer than people.

Interesting facts about turtles:

  • Turtles can live long lives, some can live to 200 years of age.
  • The turtle shell is made of keratin, which is the same material that our fingernails are made of.
  • Sea turtles will swim miles to return to the location where they were born to lay their eggs.
  • Sea turtle babies will hatch at night and look for the light of the moon as a guide to lead them to the water.
  • People that live in areas of sea turtle nests will often turn off all of their lights to keep from confusing the babies.
  • The name for baby turtles is ‘sparkies’.
  • Turtles have the ability to retract their heads in case of danger so that they go inside their shells.

Most people think of turtles as calm, gentle, and slow-moving. One of the most vicious types of turtles is the alligator snapping turtle in North America. It has a hooked beak and powerful jaws and can weigh up to two hundred pounds and be as large as 2.5 feet long.

  • The oldest turtle fossil that has been found is over 220 million years old.
  • Some turtles have muscles that help them to breathe underwater. These are special muscles located between their lungs and limbs.
  • There was a myth that indicated turtles could not hear very well. This is false. Examination of the ear canals of turtles shows that they can hear better than humans but in slight variations.

Turtles can see in color, specifically red, yellow, and orange.

This relates to the types of foods that they eat and for those that are the most appealing.

Some species of turtles on the Galapagos Islands were hunted by sailors to extinction.

Sailors visiting the islands would load the ships with turtles and then use them for food for an extended voyage.