Types of Turtles

Types of Turtles

July 30, 2018

Types of Turtles

There are more than 300 species of turtles in the world.

Turtle is often used for all turtles, tortoises, and terrapins since all turtles are part of the species testudine.

Unlike tortoises, though turtles are always aquatic, semi-aquatic or can live with a fair amount of water exposure.

Turtles can be very, very small or very large. The speckled padloper tortoise is 3 inches on average and only weighs a few ounces. The red-eared slider is a terrapin that averages 6-8 inches and can live twenty years or more. The leatherback sea turtle averages nearly 7 feet long and can weigh up to 2000 lbs which is more than many horses. 

Yellow Eared Slider;

Types of turtles yellow eared sliders

There is so much diversity within the turtle group that it is hard to even compare them all.

Most turtles don’t actually do that well when kept as pets simply because it is so difficult to create an ideal environment for them even if they are small.

They have very special temperature requirements, they do best with fresh foods, and they need plenty of room.

Snapping Turtle;

Types Of Turtles Snapping Turtle

Turtles are usually sub-categorized into two sub-groups which include Cryptodira and Pleurodira.  


The Cryptodira can usually retract their heads into their shells.

Cryptodira Types of Turtles


The Pleurodira fold their long necks and tuck their heads under or into their shells.
Pleurodira Types Of Turtles Image By Greg Hume

You can go much further when defining turtles. For example, you could divide turtles as follows:

  • Snapping Turtles
  • Sea Turtles
  • Mud Turtles
  • River Turtles
  • Soft-Shelled Turtles
  • Side-Necked Turtles
  • Other

River Turtle;

Types of Turtles River Turtle

Even if you pick out a turtle from the above list, there may be many more turtles that fall into just that category.

Sea turtles can be broken into many different types.

Snapping turtles can be the more common type or the “alligator” type.

While it is fairly easy to point out an animal with the general characteristics of a turtle, really defining “turtle” is much more complex!

Sea Turtle;

Types of Turtles Sea Turtle

& finally, just a cute Red Eared Slider hanging out on a bench 😃

 Like mentioned earlier, there are over 300 species of sea turtles. If a detailed and in depth list of the different species of sea turtles is something you'd like to see, let us know in the comments below & we would love to help!

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