Turtles | Testudines

Turtles and tortoises are members of the Testudines reptile family characterized by their hard shells that allow them to retract their head and limbs for protection. Turtles and tortoises are separable by the fact that tortoises are land-dwelling creatures while most turtle species are at least partly aquatic creatures. Most tortoises live 80-150 years, although this is a debated fact with the Aldabra giant tortoise rumored to be able to live 255 years. Tortoises are typically herbivores, but turtles will eat aquatic plants, insects, snails, and small fish. Both turtles and tortoises are cold-blooded and rely on their habitat to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

What do turtles eat?

What a turtle eats depends on their species, kind of jaw it has, and the food that is available in its habitat. Some species are carnivores and others are vegetarians, but most turtles are omnivores. For example, leatherback sea turtles eat mostly jellyfish while freshwater turtles eat worms, snails, crustaceans, water plants, algae, and fallen fruit.

How do turtles mate?

Turtles mate in the spring and early summer. Some male turtles fight for the right to mate with a female while others use a mating ritual. In order to mate, the male and female turtles interlace their tails so that their shell openings align together. The female turtle later makes a nest and lays the fertilized eggs to hatch.

How long do turtles live?

How long a turtle lives is determined by its species, but most turtles can live a few decades if they survive the first few years of life. Large turtle species and tortoises can live long lives of more than 100 years.

Turtles Guides
Browse through our curated Turtles Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Turtles. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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10.2”-13” | 26-33 cm
18.5”-24.4” | 47-62 cm (Carapace)
22”-29” | 56-74 cm (Carapace)
176-251 lb | 80-114 kg
11-45 years (wild); 20-70 years (captivity)
Alligator Snapping Turtle
33.000
62.000
74.000
114.000
70.00
93700
3D
Alligator Snapping Turtle
1.4”-1.73” | 3.5-4.4 cm
2.36”-2.75” | 6-7 cm (Carapace)
3”-3.5” | 7.6-8.9 cm (Carapace)
.2-.24 lb | .09-.11 kg
20-30 years (wild); 40-60 years (captivity)
Bog Turtle
4.400
7.000
8.900
0.110
60.00
8350
3D
Bog Turtle
3.75”-7.1” | 9.5-18 cm
6.3”-11.4” | 16-29 cm (Carapace)
8”-14” | 20.3-35.6 cm (Carapace)
11-44 lb | 5-20 kg
30-45 years (wild); 30-70 years (captivity)
Common Snapping Turtle
18.000
29.000
35.600
20.000
70.00
198000
3D
Common Snapping Turtle
14.2”-17.3” | 36-44 cm
27.5”-33” | 70-84 cm (Carapace)
31”-37” | 79-94 cm (Carapace)
154-198 lb | 70-90 kg
40-60 years (wild); 50-100 years (captivity)
Flatback Sea Turtle
44.000
84.000
94.000
90.000
100.00
2150
3D
Flatback Sea Turtle
27.0”-36.0” | 69-91 cm
48.0”-60.0” | 122-152 cm
330-550 lb | 150-250 kg
100-150 (wild), 175 (captivity)
Galápagos Giant Tortoise
91.000
152.000
250.000
175.00
1100
3D
Galápagos Giant Tortoise
14.2”-18.9” | 36-48 cm
27.5”-36.2” | 70-92 cm (Carapace)
36”-48” | 91-122 cm (Carapace)
243-419 lb | 110-190 kg
60-75 years (wild); 80-120 years (captivity)
Green Sea Turtle
48.000
92.000
122.000
190.000
120.00
46700
3D
Green Sea Turtle
9.4”-15” | 24-38 cm
17.7”-27.2” | 45-69 cm (Carapace)
24”-36” | 61-91 cm (Carapace)
99-198 lb | 45-90 kg
30-45 years (wild); 30-60 years (captivity)
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
38.000
69.000
91.000
90.000
60.00
15400
3D
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
12.6”-18.1” | 32-46 cm
24”-33.5” | 61-85 cm (Carapace)
30”-42” | 76-107 cm (Carapace)
154-375 lb | 70-170 kg
45-60 years (wild); 50-77 years (captivity)
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
46.000
85.000
107.000
170.000
77.00
43000
3D
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Squirtle
105000
1’8” | 50.8 cm
19.8 lb | 9 kg
#007
Squirtle
50.800
9.000
7.00
105000
3D
Squirtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Loggerhead Sea Turtle to other turtles and a person

Known as the largest of the hard-shelled turtles, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) is an oceanic turtle with a broad habitat range with populations found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Within this large distribution, it prefers to dwell in shallow, open waters of coastlines and will travel far to reach these desired habitats. The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is omnivorous and considered a keystone species due to its diet, providing food for other animals at the bottom of the ocean through its expelled waste. Its size also makes it the second largest existing turtle following the Leatherback Sea Turtle.

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle has a carapace length between 30”-42” (76-107 cm), carapace width of 24”-33.5” (61-85 cm), body height of 12.6”-18.1” (32-46 cm), and weight in the range of 154-375 lb (70-170 kg). The typical lifespan of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle is between 45-60 years in the wild and 50-77 years in captivity.

Scaled collection of drawings of Loggerhead Sea Turtle in various poses
Known as the largest of the hard-shelled turtles, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) is an oceanic turtle with a broad habitat range with populations found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Within this large distribution, it prefers to dwell in shallow open waters of coastlines.

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle has a carapace length between 30”-42” (76-107 cm), carapace width of 24”-33.5” (61-85 cm), body height of 12.6”-18.1” (32-46 cm), and weight in the range of 154-375 lb (70-170 kg). The typical lifespan of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle is between 45-60 years in the wild and 50-77 years in captivity.

Scaled collection of drawings of Loggerhead Sea Turtle in various poses
Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
Height:
12.6”-18.1” | 32-46 cm
Width:
24”-33.5” | 61-85 cm (Carapace)
Length:
30”-42” | 76-107 cm (Carapace)
Depth:
Weight:
154-375 lb | 70-170 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Caretta caretta
Lifespan
45-60 years (wild); 50-77 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Loggerhead Sea Turtle top view, side

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Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii)
Size comparison drawing of the Bog Turtle compared to other small reptile species

The Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) is the smallest turtle in North America, commonly found in the eastern United States. It prefers open habitats with slow-flowing water such as fens, bogs, meadows, or sedge marshes. The bog turtle is omnivorous and has a low reproduction rate, making it considered a threatened species. Its skin and carapace are black or dark brown, while its head, neck, and limbs show yellow or orange spots. Besides, each side of the neck shows distinctive yellow-orange or red spots. This coloration is used to distinguish it from the spotted turtle. The bog turtle has a domed and rectangular-shaped carapace, narrowing towards the head and widening towards the tail.

The Bog Turtle has a carapace length between 3”-3.5” (7.6-8.9 cm), carapace width of 2.36”-2.75” (6-7 cm), body height of 1.4”-1.73” (3.5-4.4 cm), and weight in the range of .2-.24 lb (.09-.11 kg). The typical lifespan of the Bog Turtle is between 20-30 years in the wild and 40-60 years in captivity.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Bog Turtle
The Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) is the smallest turtle in North America, commonly found in the eastern United States. It prefers open habitats with slow-flowing water such as fens, bogs, meadows, or sedge marshes. The bog turtle is omnivorous and has a low reproduction rate.

The Bog Turtle has a carapace length between 3”-3.5” (7.6-8.9 cm), carapace width of 2.36”-2.75” (6-7 cm), body height of 1.4”-1.73” (3.5-4.4 cm), and weight in the range of .2-.24 lb (.09-.11 kg). The typical lifespan of the Bog Turtle is between 20-30 years in the wild and 40-60 years in captivity.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Bog Turtle
Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii)
Height:
1.4”-1.73” | 3.5-4.4 cm
Width:
2.36”-2.75” | 6-7 cm (Carapace)
Length:
3”-3.5” | 7.6-8.9 cm (Carapace)
Depth:
Weight:
.2-.24 lb | .09-.11 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Glyptemys muhlenbergii
Lifespan
20-30 years (wild); 40-60 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Bog Turtle top view, side

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Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Scale illustration of an average Hawksbill Sea Turtle compared to other turtle species and a person

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) can be found throughout tropical ocean coastlines around the world, prominently inhabiting coral reefs where its diet consists mainly of sponges. It has a tapered head that comes to a sharp, narrow point resembling that of a beak, making it easily distinguishable from other kinds of sea turtles. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle also has a pattern of overlapping plates on its amber-colored, serrated shell as well as a set of claws on its flippers. The color of its shell has been noted to change as a result of water temperature.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a carapace length between 24”-36” (61-91 cm), carapace width of 17.7”-27.2” (45-69 cm), body height of 9.4”-15” (24-38 cm), and weight in the range of 99-198 lb (45-90 kg). The typical lifespan of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle is between 30-45 years in the wild and 30-60 years in captivity.

Series of measured illustrations of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) can be found throughout tropical ocean coastlines around the world, prominently inhabiting coral reefs where its diet consists mainly of sponges. It has a tapered head that comes to a sharp, narrow point resembling that of a beak.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a carapace length between 24”-36” (61-91 cm), carapace width of 17.7”-27.2” (45-69 cm), body height of 9.4”-15” (24-38 cm), and weight in the range of 99-198 lb (45-90 kg). The typical lifespan of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle is between 30-45 years in the wild and 30-60 years in captivity.

Series of measured illustrations of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Height:
9.4”-15” | 24-38 cm
Width:
17.7”-27.2” | 45-69 cm (Carapace)
Length:
24”-36” | 61-91 cm (Carapace)
Depth:
Weight:
99-198 lb | 45-90 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Eretmochelys imbricata
Lifespan
30-45 years (wild); 30-60 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Hawksbill Sea Turtle top view, side

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Squirtle
Scaled elevation drawing comparing the height of Squirtle to people

Squirtle, known as Zenigame in Japan, is a water type Pokémon introduced in the first generation of games as a starter Pokémon along with Bulbasaur and Charmander. Squirtle is a light-blue turtle creature with a hard brown shell and a long, curly tail. Squirtle is the lowest evolution in his family; he evolves into Wartortle and then into Blastoise. Squirtle is relatively rare to find in the wild, but he can be occasionally found around ponds and lakes. Squirtle is a very efficient swimmer, can use his shell for protection, and sprays water from his mouth to attack with great accuracy.

Squirtle has an average height of 1’8” (50.8 cm) and weight of 19.8 lb (9 kg). Squirtle is a Water type Pokémon and is listed as #007 in the National Pokédex.

Dimensioned elevation drawings of Squirtle in assorted poses
Squirtle, known as Zenigame in Japan, is a water type Pokémon introduced in the first generation of games as a starter Pokémon along with Bulbasaur and Charmander. Squirtle is a light-blue turtle creature with a hard brown shell and a long, curly tail. Squirtle is the lowest evolution in his family.

Squirtle has an average height of 1’8” (50.8 cm) and weight of 19.8 lb (9 kg). Squirtle is a Water type Pokémon and is listed as #007 in the National Pokédex.

Dimensioned elevation drawings of Squirtle in assorted poses
Squirtle
Height:
1’8” | 50.8 cm
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
19.8 lb | 9 kg
Area:

Generation: 1

Type
Water
Pokédex
#007

Drawings include:
Squirtle front elevation, side, back, fighting

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Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Scale illustration of an average Common Snapping Turtle compared to other turtle species

The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a kind of freshwater turtle with an extensive habitat range and considered the most widespread turtle as the name suggests. Physically, it has a large shell of brown color with a tail nearly as long. Considered to be at the top of the food chain in its environment, the Common Snapping Turtle has very few predators and is only the most vulnerable as a hatchling. It is known for its powerful jaw and aggressive disposition, but will only use its strength against potential predators. As such, the Common Snapping Turtle is noted as docile and curious upon encounters with humans.

The Common Snapping Turtle has a carapace length between 8”-14” (20.3-35.6 cm), carapace width of 6.3”-11.4” (16-29 cm), body height of 3.75”-7.1” (9.5-18 cm), and weight in the range of 11-44 lb (5-20 kg). The typical lifespan of the Common Snapping Turtle is between 30-45 years in the wild and 30-70 years in captivity.

Series of measured illustrations of the Common Snapping Turtle
The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a kind of freshwater turtle with an extensive habitat range and considered the most widespread turtle as the name suggests. Physically, it has a large shell of brown color with a tail nearly as long.

The Common Snapping Turtle has a carapace length between 8”-14” (20.3-35.6 cm), carapace width of 6.3”-11.4” (16-29 cm), body height of 3.75”-7.1” (9.5-18 cm), and weight in the range of 11-44 lb (5-20 kg). The typical lifespan of the Common Snapping Turtle is between 30-45 years in the wild and 30-70 years in captivity.

Series of measured illustrations of the Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Height:
3.75”-7.1” | 9.5-18 cm
Width:
6.3”-11.4” | 16-29 cm (Carapace)
Length:
8”-14” | 20.3-35.6 cm (Carapace)
Depth:
Weight:
11-44 lb | 5-20 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Chelydra serpentina
Lifespan
30-45 years (wild); 30-70 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Common Snapping Turtle top view, side

Details & Downloads

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