Turtles have backbones. According to Scholastic, turtles are reptiles, and all reptiles have backbones. A turtle's shell has upper and lower parts, the carapace and plastron, respectively, which are connected to the animal's backbone, ribs, shoulders and hips.
Both sections of the shell are made up of small bony plates that are covered with thin scales called laminae. They are made from a substance similar to human fingernails. The scales provide color -- typically brown, black or green -- for the turtle's shell; however, some are more colorful. For instance, spotted turtles have brightly colored dots on their shells while painted turtles have red, yellow or orange borders around their shells.Learn More
Both tortoises and turtles are able to flip themselves over from a supine position. Adaptations such as tall, uneven shells assist in creating an imbalance that allows the turtle or tortoise to roll back to its feet.Full Answer >
A turtle's ears are flat against the head, but a turtle can hear as well as a cat. Turtles have the same inner ear mechanisms that other animals do, and they also have an auditory nerve and the brain center required for hearing.Full Answer >
On a female turtle, the tail serves no purpose, but for male turtles, the tail houses the reproductive organs. Unlike with male turtles, the cloaca, which handles urinary, fecal and reproductive functions, is located under the tail and not housed inside the tail for females.Full Answer >
Painted turtles have a large natural range, encompassing much of North America, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, although they're absent from most of the southwestern United States. Additionally, humans have introduced painted turtles to locations outside of their natural range, including Spain, Germany, the Philippines and Indonesia. Painted turtles usually inhabit quiet freshwater lakes and ponds with soft muddy bottoms and an abundance of aquatic plant life.Full Answer >