What is physically different between a turtle and a tortoise?



  1. 0 Votes

    A tortoise is one of many types of turtle. Tortoises are characterized by a high domed shell and columnar legs.

  2. 0 Votes

    Good question, Elianahunter. 

    There are a couple main physical differences between turtles and tortoises.  The first thing you may notice is that tortoises shells are more dome shaped, as opposed to a turtle’s shell that is more flat.  Tortoises generally have a heavier shell than turtles do.  Also, tortoise’s legs and nails are shorter , since they have to walk around.  This contrasts the turtle’s webbed feet with long claws.

    Tortoise                                                            Common pet turtle, the Red-Eared Slider


    Hope this helps!

  3. 0 Votes

    To clarify the other answers, tortoise is the name applied to land turtles only (as opposed to sea turtles). The adaptation to living on land is the reason for the physical differences between tortoises and other turtles.

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