Q:

How do turtles move?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Scholastic, turtles differ in their movements based on their terrain. On land, turtles walk on the tip of their toes and move quite slowly, but in water a turtle's smooth shell and webbed feet allow it to move more freely. Some freshwater turtles can even move faster on land than land turtles.

Know More
How do turtles move?
Credit: Buena Vista Images Digital Vision Getty Images

Full Answer

Some turtles may even run. These are soft-shelled and have leathery skin covering their bony plates rather than horny scales. Other types, such as sea turtles, have limited capabilities due to their heart-shaped bodies and front flippers being longer than their hind ones. According to Oceana, the hawksbill sea turtle moves its flippers diagonally in opposite directions when walking on land and tends to be found in lower-density areas rather than beaches. In addition Scholastic notes that other land turtles, such as the box turtle, not only claw at the ground but repeatedly fall on their backs. According to Wikipedia, many turtles must go above water because they need to refill their lungs with oxygen. This is the same for tortoises who do not have a diaphragm; they need to move their front legs in and out to move air between their lungs. Similarly, a tortoise's weight can cause slow movement; those found in the Galapagos Islands weigh 500 pounds.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How do sea turtles move?

    A:

    Sea turtles are agile swimmers that move through the water using four flippers that function like rowing oars. On land, female sea turtles use their flippers to pull themselves across beach sand and dirt to dig nests for their eggs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do snapping turtles bite?

    A:

    Snapping turtles bite. They are bad-tempered and should only be handled by experts. The common snapper can grow to 18 inches long and weighs between 25 and 35 pounds. Its cousin, the alligator snapper, can be nearly 3 feet long and weighs up to 150 pounds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can turtles flip themselves over?

    A:

    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 >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do turtles have backbones?

    A:

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore