Turtles are very interesting in many ways. There are three different types of reptiles. They are snakes, lizards, and crocodilians. It all started two hundred million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth. They were called "Chelonia". Over the years turtles have changed very little. The two main types of turtles are "Cryptodires" (hidden neck) and "Pleurodires" (side neck). If you add up all the species of turtles there are about one hundred different species.
Turtles have leathery skin and a hard outer shell called a "carapace". The carapace is a two piece shell joined together on the plastron (the inside of the shell), which makes up the turtles' backbone.
Turtles have been found on every continent except Antarctica. Sea Turtles are found in the tropics, and can swim 300 miles in ten days.
Most turtles are vegetarians and eat a mixed diet of insects and different types of plants. Snapping turtles are carnivorous and like to eat birds, small mammals and fish. Snapping turtles have a strange way of getting fish. The turtle will lie on the bottom of the river or pond and open its mouth. Then the turtle tougue wiggles like a worm luring the hungy fish to the deadly trap.
All turtles lay their eggs on the land. Fresh water turtles lay their eggs in soft, moist soil and cover it with leaves to hide the eggs from predators. Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs in a hole and cover it with sand then head back toward the sea. It will take the eggs seven to ten weeks to hatch. When the baby turtles are hatched it's a race of life and death for the babies to reach safe water before predators like crabs, birds, and raccoons eat the small turtles. Only a few turtles will be able to complete the full life cycle.