Where do turtles live?
Credit: Georgette Douwma Stone Getty Images
Q:

Where do turtles live?

A:

Quick Answer

Turtles inhabit virtually every terrestrial, aquatic and marine habitat in the world that is warm enough to permit activity. Turtles are residents of every continent except Antarctica and of all the world’s temperate and tropical oceans.

  Know More

Full Answer

The 327 living turtle species exhibit remarkable diversity, and they have colonized most available habitats. Some species live in deserts, while others live in rainforests, temperate forests, grasslands, lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps and coral reefs. Some turtles, particularly the wide-ranging sea turtles, have huge ranges that span thousands of miles. By contrast, some species inhabit only a small geographic area or a particular body of water.

Some of the areas with extraordinary diversity include the rivers, lakes and streams of the southeastern United States, the rainforests of Southeast Asia, central Africa and the Amazon basin. The Galapagos Islands are home to the largest terrestrial species, Chelonoidis nigra, while southern Africa is home to the smallest species, Homopus signatus.

Turtles may eat plants, animals or both. While most have relatively flexible diets and will concentrate on abundant prey, some turtles and tortoises specialize on a particular type of prey. For example, snapping turtles may consume ducks, plants, birds, snakes, fish, insects or other turtles, while the hawksbill turtle primarily consumes immobile animals called sponges.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do euglena live?

    A:

    Euglena live in fresh and brackish water environments that are rich in organic compounds, such as ponds or lakes. They are also capable of surviving outside of these environments in an inert form known as a cyst, waiting for water to return.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do protozoa live?

    A:

    Protozoa live in seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, decaying matters and soil. Water is a requirement for their habitat and they can exist in diverse regions where this is present.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do protists live?

    A:

    Protists live in lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds and wet sediments. Since they are microscopic organisms, they can live in just about any part of the world that has traces of water to support their life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do cnidarians live?

    A:

    Cnidarians are an entirely aquatic phylum of animals. They include jellyfish and corals, along with some lesser known creatures. Most species are marine, but a few burrow under the seafloor or live in freshwater lakes and rivers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore