are many different types of turtles. The majority of turtles live
in central, northern, southeastern, and eastern United States.
The rest of the turtles live in very northwestern South America.
Some also live in southern Mexico. Therefore, they only live in
the Northwestern Hemisphere.
All turtles are part of a family called the
Chelonia, which is a family where all of the types’ bodies are
inside a shell.
The food that turtles eat may vary. They can
not eat most plants because they don’t have any teeth. The
only thing that they have is a sharp point on the top of their
mouths. Turtles can not grind very well with their mouths.
The majority of turtles are carnivorous. Most turtles eat
tadpoles, small fish, crayfish, snails, water weed, insects, and
The shell of a turtle is actually not just one
piece. There is a top piece and a bottom piece. The top
piece is called the carapace, and the bottom piece is called the
plastron. On the carapace and the plastron, there are large
scales called scutes. On the head, there is something called a
beak in the place of a snout.
A very interesting fact about turtles is that the temperature that baby
turtles are hatched in actually determines its gender, in which the
females are developed from cooler temperatures, and in the warmer
temperatures, the males are developed.
One of the different types of turtles is the painted turtle.
There are more painted turtles in the world than any other type of
turtle. The reason that it is called the painted turtle is that
it has various-colored stripes running vertically down its legs.
It has a decent-sized shell and it can hide its head into most of
it. Painted turtles don’t bite much. The carapace of
this turtle is either black or olive-colored. The scutes are
usually tipped with either yellow, olive, or red. Painted turtles
grow up to 4-9 ½ inches long. Normally, the females grow
larger than the males. Immature males are carnivorous, but they
become more herbivorous while they mature. The average of
incubation for painted turtles is 10-11 weeks, but it can vary,
depending on the temperature. Males are produced at a temperature
of 24-28˚ C. Females are produced at a temperature of 30˚ C.
Another type of turtle is the Snapping turtle. This turtle is
very famous for its strong jaws and ferocious behavior. Snappers
(nickname) are the largest freshwater turtle in the world. They
can grow larger than 26 inches. Snapper males grow larger than
the females, unlike the painted turtle. Wild snappers get up to
45 pounds, while well-fed domestics get up to 75 pounds. The
world record for a snapper is 219 pounds! Snappers spend most of
their life in the water. Only female snappers come out of the
water, and that is when they are nesting. An interesting fact is
that they like to rest in warm, shallow water, with every part of its
body buried in the mud except its nostrils and head, but they prefer
deeper waters-like rivers and lakes-when they are swimming
around. Snappers will eat anything that they can get their webbed
feet on. They can even eat other turtles! They mostly eat
snails, goldfish, insects, crayfish, crabs, worms, shrimp, water mites,
clams, leeches, freshwater sponges, fish, frogs, toads, tadpoles, eggs,
salamanders, snakes, birds, and small mammals. They do not eat
vegetables. They can not bite off your arm, but they are highly capable
of biting off your fingers. They live from South Alberta and Nova
Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. They have peculiarly large heads,
hooked beaks, and long tails. Their brown carapaces are spiked in
the back, and there are 3 large protruding bumps that stick out of
it. The plastron of a snapper is rather small.
Another type of turtle is the Slider turtle. The most common type
of Slider turtle is the Pond Slider. Pond Sliders live in a range
from Virginia to Florida, and from New Mexico to Brazil. Sliders
like calm water with a lot of plants. Sliders can grow from 5-12
inches long, and the females grow larger than the males.
The final turtle that I will talk about is the Softshell turtle.
Softshells can be identified by their carapaces that feel like
leather. Instead of scutes, their shell is covered with soft
skin. They have webbed feet and their snout is shaped like a
snorkel, helping them to breathe when they are
“snorkeling.” Softies (nickname) will be found in
freshwater, and they like sandy and/or muddy bottoms. They do
bask in the sun, but they are easily startled and scared back into the
water. However, the rarity of basking does depend on the
species. Like other turtles, they bask to help stay safe from
disease and parasites. Females still grow larger than
males. Softies are very good swimmers. Softshells have
sharp teeth and if they bite you, you will not lose any prodigious
limbs, but it will inflict pain on you. They eat mostly fish,
small crabs, crayfish, snails, frogs, or even birds.
In conclusion, there are many different types of
turtles and they are all different. Turtles are one of my
favorite animals. I hope that they are yours!