Turtle Facts for Kids

Did you know that today is World Turtle Day? May 23rd has been World Turtle Day since 2000, which means it has been celebrated for over 20 years! American Tortoise Rescue initiated this holiday to bring more awareness to tortoises, turtles, and how we can protect them. You can watch a video about World Turtle Day to learn all about it.

We know that there are many animal lovers at CHLC, so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to share some interesting turtle facts for kids. Read through the facts below, and surprise your little one with a new fact today!

10 Fun Facts about Turtles

1. All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises.

Here’s what makes them different: tortoises only live on land, not in the water. They also have different shell characteristics. Tortoise shells are more rounded and domed, while turtles have thinner, water-dynamic shells.

2. Turtles can live for a long time!

In fact, the world’s oldest known tortoise is celebrating his 190th birthday this year! Learn about Jonathan the giant tortoise.

3. Turtles don’t grow out of their shells.

Unlike a hermit crab, turtles do not outgrow their shells—their shells grow with them!

sea turtle shell pattern

4. Turtle shells are made up of over 50 bones.

This includes both the spine and rib cage.

5. The leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle species.

On average, these turtles can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and swim as fast as 22 miles per hour! The biggest leatherback turtle ever recorded weighed in at 2,109 pounds.

6. There are over 350 species of turtles.

Turtles live on land in all continents (except Antarctica) and in both salt water and fresh water.

7. Texas is home to 25 native turtle species and 5 sea turtle species.

Because Texas is so big, it can support various species of turtles in different types of habitats.

8. Turtles don’t have teeth.

They use beaks to break up food.

sea turtle

9. Turtles can sleep underwater, some for up to five hours.

Turtles can drop their metabolism and reduce their heart rate and oxygen consumption, allowing them to sleep underwater without breathing.

10. As omnivores, turtles eat both meat and plants.

Depending on the type of turtle, they might munch on fruits, vegetables, worms, grass, bugs, crabs, fish, and more.

Turtle Gifts for Kids

If your child wants to learn more about turtles, here’s a list of turtle books they might enjoy. And if your kiddo still can’t get enough of turtles, here are some turtle gift ideas that you can keep in mind for their birthday or Christmas!

Schedule a Tour of Country Home Learning Center Today

We’re always learning new things here at Country Home Learning Center! To tour one of our eight convenient locations, contact us today. We would be happy to show you what a day at CHLC is like, for toddlers, preschoolers, and beyond.