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Turtles or chelonians are an order of reptiles adapted to both marine and terrestrial life. Their most outstanding feature is their wide and short body, protected from the outside by a robust convex shell. This shell is attached to their spine and forms part of their skeleton.
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Although there were not too many species of tortoises along their extensive evolutionary journey, they do not lack diversity either. This is expressed in their shells shape, in their colors, in their extremities, or the shape of their heads.
Generally, turtles are classified based on their habitat, to which they are evolutionarily adapted.
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Aquatic turtles are excellent swimmers who can hold their breath for a long time. Their legs and shell shape are adapted to reach good speeds underwater.
The land tortoises. They have firm legs on which to stand, slow metabolisms, and massive, rounded bodies that allow them to take refuge in their shells in the face of any threat.
Turtles have colonized both terrestrial, marine, and freshwater habitats. It is possible to find species adapted to arid and desert climates, resisting like a tank the inclemencies of the environment.
They can also be found on the seabed or on the banks of lakes and rivers, where they lead an amphibious life.
Turtles have no teeth but a sharp, leathery beak. Their diet is fundamentally omnivorous, that is to say, they consume very diverse foods.
The terrestrial ones tend to be mainly vegetarian, eating leaves, stems, flowers, fungi, and fruits, but also worms and insects. The marine species, on the other hand, feed on algae, corals, small mollusks, or poriferous plants.
Their lack of teeth makes them incapable of holding on to prey or tearing their flesh violently. Instead, it has a sharp beak capable of enormous amounts of force and more similar to that of birds.