Many people think tortoises and turtles are the same. Are they? Both are reptiles from the Testudines family, but they actually are different.
The major difference is tortoises live on land and turtles live in water which is their natural habitat. A tortoise also lives a lot longer than a turtle. Believe it or not, tortoises live to be around 80 to 150 years. The longest living tortoise is 188 years old. However, turtles only live for around 20 to 40 years.
Some people love to keep turtles as pets. They have to remember that cleanliness is very important. Tortoises are rarely kept as pets, even though it is not wrong to have one as a pet. Tortoises are actually easier to care for than turtles. Unfortunately, tortoises are a bit more expensive than turtles.
The bodies of tortoises and turtles are shielded by a shell. The upper part of the shell is called a carapace, and the lower portion is called a plastron. Tortoises have much heavier shells than turtles do. A turtle’s shell is generally very light. Both these animals have physical differences in their limbs. The tortoise feet are short and sturdier with bent legs. Turtles have webbed feet with long claws. This is the most obvious difference between them.
Both tortoises and turtles usually eat fruit and vegetables. They also eat leafy vegetation and meat since they are omnivores. They both reproduce by laying eggs. In conclusion, tortoises and turtles look similar, but they are completely different as a species.
By Aina Basyirah Ahmad Razali, 13, Pahang and Meyshna Nair, 16, Kuala Lumpur