The world is full of turtles. But how many distinct types of turtles are there? Many turtles are on the edge of extinction and others are on the endangered list. Let us take a look at the different sorts of turtles which can be found around the world.
- Sea Turtles – These sorts of turtles are truly marine animals. They wander the waters of tropical oceans and only the females come ashore to lay their eggs in nests. They vary in size from nearly 2 1/2 feet to about 7 feet in carapace length. The shells of such turtles are heart shaped or oval in appearance. Their limbs are flippers instead of legs and are unable to encourage the turtle when on land. Sea turtles can no longer pull their heads back into their shells like other sorts of turtles. The sea turtles are one of the most endangered of the turtle families as urban development has infringed on their nesting sites.
- Snapping Turtles – There are just three species in this family of turtles. They can be found throughout North America, in the southeastern regions of Asia and in South America, to the north. Such turtles all have large heads and a strong jaw with the upper jaw being hooked. They cannot fully retract their limbs or head in their shell and have fairly long tails. Such turtles have been roaming the earth for 65 million years. They have quite a diverse habitat in addition to mating habits and diet.
- Pond Turtles – This is the largest group of turtles and can be found all around the world. Some species of pond turtles are carnivores while some are herbivores. They have many predators such as alligators and raccoons. These species are typically the kinds of turtles that are used in the pet trade.
- Mud or Musk Turtles – These kinds of turtles emit an unpleasant odor when they’re disturbed. They feed on aquatic insects, small fish and amphibians as well as any crustacean they could find. The adults are rarely preyed upon by other animals; instead their eggs are coveted by an assortment of animals.
- Tortoises – These kinds of turtles can boast the distinction of being the largest turtles that live on land. Tortoises feed on flowers, fruits and grasses though they’ve been known to feast on carrion. Typically, tortoises have heavy scales and feet which are not webbed. Their closest relatives are the pond turtles.
- Softshell Turtles – These kinds of turtles may live in many types of waters with a soft bottom being required. They spend the majority of their time buried in sand.
- Even though they are sea turtles, they’re a class unto themselves. They may be found swimming the waters of this world no matter if the waters are warm or cold. Their jaws lack potency so feed mostly on jellyfish. The adults have no known predators, instead it is the eggs and the hatchlings that are most vulnerable to predators. The leatherback is a truly endangered species because of erosion and evolution of the shores where the females land ashore to make their nests and lay their eggs.