10 Truly Impressive Facts About Turtles And Tortoises

Animals, Lists, Nature, Other, Weird

Turtles and tortoises are some of the coolest creatures known to man. They can live for hundreds of years effectively, and can survive some true traumas, such as being run over by a two-thousand pound vehicle on the highway. Their shells allow them to survive against dangerous conditions, and the patterns can look pretty darn cool, too. Turtles also live on every single continent, with the exception of Antarctica, across a variety of truly extreme environments. Here are ten truly impressive facts to know about turtles and tortoises.

Rain Basins

Various species of tortoise thrive while living in the hottest locations on the planet. In order to escape the intense heat ranges, these species tend to burrow deep underground in homemade rain basins. This allows them to prevent shriveling and dying.


Species of tortoise have become adept gardeners on top of collecting water. They don’t simple nibble on an entire plant until it is gone, instead they trim it down and strip it. They then poop out the remains, which creates new plant life.

Consume Poison and Glass

Turtles are not just happy with eating leafy greens and plants. Some turtles have learned to dine on anything they can. For example, the hawksbill sea turtle has been known to eat toxins, gases, and even shards of glass.

Luring Prey

The alligator snapping turtle, which can weigh up to 200 pounds in adulthood, has some truly terrifying claws and a hooked beak. With those weapons available, the turtle has been known to lure prey in and consume it nearly whole.

Inflatable Bodies

Some turtles and tortoises have a defense mechanism to prevent them from being eaten alive by a predator. This mechanism is inflation, which allows them to pull their heads into their shell and squeeze in tight for extra protection.

Skunk-Like Stench

Some turtles have been known to have a very distinct smell, much like that of a skunk. The helmeted turtle absolutely loves to eat meat, but also produces the foul-smelling liquid that stinks like the skunks we all know and hate.


Some species of turtles and tortoises have been known to climb to some truly impressive heights on rocks to escape heat and predators. They have almost no problem with acrobatics, due to the fact they have an incredible sense of balance.

Lack of a Diaphragm

A turtle has internal organs constricted between the two halves of a shell, which leaves little room for much extra. The diaphragm, for example, which human beings require, is not needed within a turtle, as they can breathe without it.

Butt Breathing

With the distinct lack of a diaphragm, turtles need to breathe in some manner. To accomplish this feat, turtles and tortoises will breathe through their anus. They draw water into their cloaca, which is a vent used for waste disposal and breathing.


Turtles and tortoises are some of the oldest living creatures in the entire world. Scientists have previously discovered turtle fossils dating back 120 million years. These are thought to be the ancestors of modern species.