Differences between water and land turtles
Want to know the differences between water and land turtles ? In this article by YourCatCareguide we focus on the details of the evolution of these fantastic reptiles over time.
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In the Triassic, 260 million years ago, the tortoise’s ancestor, Captorhinus, first appeared to be the first reptile to have a shell that covered his chest, organs, and in addition covered his ribs. This made it possible for some animals, such as the turtle, to develop a bone carapace.
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Differences in longevity
There is a big difference between the ages a turtle can live depending on its species . Earth turtles, for example, are the ones with the longest life reaching over 100 years. In fact, the tortoise that lived most in history was an irradiated turtle (Astrochelys radiata) that reached 188 years.
On the other hand, water turtles usually live between 15 to 20 years. Another case is freshwater turtles, which can live up to 30 years if given good care.
Adapting the legs to the environment
The legs of turtles are one of the most important elements in determining if we are facing a tortoise of a terrestrial turtle.
Taking into account that sea turtles remain constant inside the water it is logical that their legs are formed by a kind of membrane that allows them nothing . These membranes, called interdigital membranes, because they lie between the toes of the legs, are easy to detect with naked eye.
In the case of land turtles do not have these membranes, their legs are tube shaped and their fingers are more developed.
Another interesting difference is that sea turtles have long, tipped nails, while land turtles have shorter nails and are atrophied.
The character of the turtles
The character depends very much on the habitat in which they develop and whether they are domestic or not.
In the case of water turtles they usually have a very quiet character despite their interaction if it is in captivity being too little.
However, the temperament of terrestrial turtles is stronger, because living in freedom and having to protect their offspring is what makes them more irascible and are always on the defensive.
An example of extreme aggression can be observed in the tortoise-aligator, a tortoise that fits wonderfully to live on land and water.
Differences in the shell
In the case of the carapace the most important difference is that while the water turtle has a smooth and very soft carapace that helps it to move through the water, the turtle has a carapace full of wrinkles and a very irregular shape. This latter type of carapace is very characteristic, for example, of the African spur tortoise.