Types of Turtles

Learn about different types of turtles & how to care for them

Turtles are a type of reptile. There are many, many different types of turtles. In the simplest terms, turtles can be broken up into 3 main sections: Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins.

In the US, these are all commonly referred to as “turtles” in general, whereas in other parts of the world there may be a slight distinction. The most common turtles which are kept as pets are Russian Tortoises, Spur-thighed tortoises and Red-eared Sliders. 

All of these turtles have typical turtle dietary requirements. Read our page on what do turtles eat for more information.

You may ask yourself

  • Are they all Reptiles?
  • Are they all hard-shelled?
  • Are they all cold-blooded?
  • Do they all lay eggs?

Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins are all part of the Chelonian reptile family and are related

The main difference to note between Turtles and Tortoises is that Turtles are omnivores that live in the sea and Tortoises are herbivores that live on land.

Terrapins are a small omnivores turtle that live in brackish water (Brackish is a term to describe waters which are salt water and fresh water mixed together).

  • Omnivore – An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plants and animals. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and animal matter, omnivores digest carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.
  • Herbivore – A herbivore is an animal that only eats plants, for example foliage or marine algae, for the main component of its diet.


baby tortoiseTypes of Turtlestypes of turtles - terrapin






Turtle Care & Information Guides


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