Origin of tortoise
Words nearby tortoise
TORTOISE VS. TURTLE
What’s the difference between a tortoise and a turtle?
The words tortoise and turtle are sometimes used interchangeably, and turtle is the more general term. The word tortoise is sometimes used to distinguish a turtle as being a terrestrial (mostly land-dwelling) one, as opposed to an aquatic turtle (one that spends most of its time in water).
However, this doesn’t mean that a turtle is necessarily aquatic simply because it’s called a turtle. For example, the box turtle is primarily terrestrial (it can also be called the box tortoise).
Turtles and tortoises are both reptiles that belong to the order Testudines. Whether something is called a tortoise or a turtle often depends on its habitat and physical features.
Some aquatic turtles, like snapping turtles, have webbed feet, while others, like sea turtles, have flippers. In contrast, turtles that are called tortoises typically have stubby, round feet, and their shells are often more domed.
Here are a few quick questions to help you determine whether it’s more appropriate to call something a tortoise or a turtle.
Q: Does it spend a lot of time in the water and have webbed feet or flippers?
A: It’s probably called a turtle.
Q: Does it live mostly on land and have a domed shell and round feet?
A: There’s a good chance it’s called a tortoise, but this isn’t always the case.
Q: Is it a teenaged, mutant ninja?
A: It’s a turtle.
Still stumped? Ask a herpetologist.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between tortoises and turtles.
Quiz yourself on tortoise vs. turtle!
Should tortoise or turtle be used in the following sentence?
The huge, land-dwelling _____ of the Galápagos Islands is known as being one of the longest living animals in the world.
How to use tortoise in a sentence
The team identified genes possibly involved in the tuatara’s biological quirks including their long lives, which are the longest of any other reptiles besides tortoises.How tuatara live so long and can withstand cool weather|Jake Buehler|August 5, 2020|Science News
At this point, you just needed to determine when the tortoise had finished 20 percent of the race.
To better understand this, let’s take a closer look at the tortoise over time.
Once this sum exceeded 10, the tortoise was guaranteed to have finished the race.
Last week, the tortoise and the hare were about to begin a 10-mile race along a “stretch” of road.
Tortoise disqualified for technical reasons, first place awarded to Sputnik hare.Why Does the USA Depend on Russian Rockets to Get Us Into Space?|P. J. O’Rourke|June 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The same look of an unruly child behind his tortoise-shell glasses.Bernard-Henri Lévy on Ali Zeidan: Our Friend in Libya|Bernard-Henri Lévy|February 21, 2013|DAILY BEAST
“That was bizarre,” he said, his brown eyes getting wide behind his tortoise-shell glasses.Jeff Goldblum on Theresa Rebeck’s ‘Seminar,’ Celebrity Death Hoaxes & More|Lorenza Muñoz|November 8, 2012|DAILY BEAST
His art collection includes a live tortoise covered in gems and a "flavor organ" on which he can play gustatory fugues.
The tortoise Hollande, early on in his bid to become the Socialist nominee, had only two reporters on his beat.Against All Odds, Can Sarkozy Pull Out an Election Win vs. Hollande?|Tracy McNicoll|May 4, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The legs and arms were carved or made of costly woods, or inlaid or plated with tortoise-shell or the precious metals.The Private Life of the Romans|Harold Whetstone Johnston
As he glanced through the window he saw an Englishman in the shop holding a tortoise, which he was turning about in his hands.The Animal Story Book|Various
The sheath itself was hardly less remarkable, made of a single piece of tortoise shell, studded with golden bees.Napoleon's Young Neighbor|Helen Leah Reed
The tortoise is found sculptured on some of the ruins at Uxmal; it was also stamped upon the coins of Grecian Thebes and gina.The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 5|Hubert Howe Bancroft
If you've spectacles, don't have a tortoise-shell rim, And don't go near the water—unless you can swim.The Book of Humorous Verse|Various