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The Different Kinds of Turtles that Inhabit Our World

The world is full of turtles. But how many different kinds of turtles are there? Many turtles are on the brink of extinction and others are on the endangered list. Let's take a look at the different kinds of turtles that can be found around the world. 1.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 range in size from nearly 2 ˝ feet to about 7 feet in carapace length. The shells of these kinds of 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 no longer pull their heads back into their shells like other kinds of turtles. The sea turtles are one of the most endangered of the turtle families as urban development has infringed on their nesting sites. 2.

Snapping Turtles - There are just three species in 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 big heads and a strong jaw with the upper jaw being hooked. They cannot fully retract their limbs or head into their shell and have fairly long tails. These kinds of turtles have been roaming the earth for 65 million years.

They have quite a diverse habitat as well as mating habits and diet. 3.Pond Turtles - This is the largest group of turtles and can be found all over the world. Some species of pond turtles are carnivores while others are herbivores.

They have many predators such as alligators and raccoons. These species are typically the kinds of turtles that are used in the pet trade. 4.Mud or Musk Turtles - These kinds of turtles emit an unpleasant odor when they are disturbed.

They vary in size but all are strictly carnivorous. They feed on aquatic insects, small fish and amphibians as well as any crustacean they can find. The adults are rarely preyed upon by other animals; rather their eggs are coveted by a variety of animals. 5.Tortoises - These kinds 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. Typically, tortoises have heavy scales and feet that are not webbed. Their closest relatives are the pond turtles. 6.Softshell Turtles - These kinds of turtles can live in many types of waters with a soft bottom being required. Their shells are not hard, but instead are covered with a leather-like skin.

They spend most of their time buried in mud. They can be omnivorous but most species are carnivores feeding on mollusks, insects, amphibians and fish. 7.The Leatherback Turtle - These ancients are the largest turtles in the world. Though they are sea turtles, they are a class unto themselves.

They can be found swimming the waters of the world no matter if the waters are warm or cold. Their jaws lack strength so feed mostly on jellyfish. The adults have no known predators, instead it is the eggs and the hatchlings that are most vulnerable to predators.

The leatherback is a truly endangered species because of erosion and development of the beaches where the females land ashore to make their nests and lay their eggs. Copyright (c) 2008 Steven Magill.

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