Turtles have much in common with both amphibians and reptiles.
Amphibians probably evolved when some aquatic creatures developed limbs and lungs so they could live partly on the surface of the water or on land that is near water.
Students of this evolutionary process are taught that these animals were gradually capable of life on land and in water, so the word amphibian means “double life.”
Amphibians generally have moist skin that absorbs water and oxygen. They are very vulnerable to dehydration.
Turtles are also capable of life on the surface of the water, partially underwater, and partially on land.
They are also very vulnerable to dehydration.
Many turtles have moist skin most of the time.
Turtles cannot control their own body temperatures, so they are generally thought of as cold-blooded.
Amphibians take the temperature of their environment but they do not have a constant body temperature, just like turtles.
These things differentiate amphibians from turtles since turtles have scales, they do not have gills, and their eggs are fertilized inside the body during breeding.
Breeding takes place when the male turtle penetrates the female and fertilizes the eggs.
Turtles lay many eggs in nests on the seashore and even at birth, the hatchlings breathe air with lungs.
Many amphibians are also not vertebrates, so the spine of the turtle may not be fully visible, but is part of what differentiates it from amphibians.
For these and other reasons, turtles are reptiles, not amphibians.
Still confused? Watch the video below describing what an amphibian is.