What Are Some Different Types of Turtles?


Quick Answer

Different types of turtles include the green sea turtle, the spiny soft shell turtle and the mata mata. The green sea turtle spends much of its life at sea. The females come on land to lay eggs, often on the beaches where they themselves were hatched, and sometimes the turtles will come ashore to bask in the sun.

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Full Answer

The green sea turtle is one of the largest turtles and can weigh as much as 700 pounds. Its smooth brown or olive green carapace can be 5 feet long, and males are a little bigger than females. The green sea turtle can live up to 80 years.

The spiny soft-shell turtle resembles the green turtle in that it has a smooth shell. However, it is a much smaller, freshwater species. It is found in much of North America. Unlike other types of reptiles, the sex of these turtles isn't determined by the temperature of the nest, but by their genes. Female spiny soft-shell turtles are larger than the males and can live up to 50 years.

The mata mata lives in South America and Trinidad, and some have been sighted in Florida. It is a prehistoric-looking animal with a large, triangular head full of skin flaps, barbels on its chin and tubercles on its neck and mouth. These protuberances may be sensory organs. The turtle also has a triple-keeled carapace that becomes covered with algae as the animal ages.

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