The world is filled with turtles. But how many different types of turtles are there? Many turtles are on the edge of extinction and others are on the endangered list. Let’s take a look at the different sorts of turtles that can be found around the world.
- Sea Turtles – These kinds of turtles are truly marine creatures. 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 approximately 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 not able to support the turtle when on land. Sea turtles can’t 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 within this family of turtles. They can be found throughout North America, in the southeastern regions of Asia and in South America, to the north. These kinds of turtles all have large heads and a solid chin with the upper jaw being hooked. They can’t fully retract their limbs or head into their shell and have fairly long tails. They have quite a diverse habitat in addition to mating habits and diet.
- Pond Turtles – This is the greatest group of turtles and can be found all over the world. Some species of pond turtles are carnivores while some are herbivores. These species are usually the sorts of turtles which are used in the pet trade.
- Mud or Musk Turtles – These sorts of turtles emit an unpleasant odor when they’re disturbed. They vary in size but all are strictly carnivorous. They feed on aquatic insects, small fish and amphibians in addition to any crustacean they can find. The adults are rarely preyed upon by other animals; rather their eggs are coveted by a variety of animals.
- Tortoises – These sorts of turtles can boast the distinction of being the largest turtles that live on land. Tortoises feed on flowers, grasses and fruits though they have been known to feast on carrion. Normally, tortoises have heavy scales and feet that are not webbed. Their closest relatives are the pond turtles.
- Softshell Turtles – These kinds of turtles can live in various kinds of waters with a soft underside being required. They spend the majority of their time buried in mud. They may be omnivorous but most species are carnivores feeding on mollusks, insects, amphibians and fish.
- Even though they are sea turtles, they’re a class unto themselves. They may be found swimming the waters of this planet no matter if the waters are warm or cold. Their jaws lack potency so feed largely on jellyfish. The adults have no known predators, instead it’s the eggs and the hatchlings which are most vulnerable to predators. The leatherback is a truly endangered species due to erosion and development of the shores where the females land ashore to make their nests and lay their eggs.