These care sheets are very detailed and contain practical advice from our experienced Care Coordinators. Take the time to read through them and you will find many useful answers - maybe even some answers to questions you did not know you had!
Land turtles include "box" turtles, so named because their shells are higher than other turtles, with a profile looking more like a WWII infantry helmet. This is typical of many land turtles.
Land turtles have back feet that may be only slightly webbed, but not flat bottomed feet as a tortoise or broad "paddle" feet like a water turtle. Land turtles do not have to live in ponds to survive, but should always have a shallow dish of water available to soak in.
Water turtles have large webbed feet and live in water most of the time, coming out occasionally to bask in sunlight. Captive care of water turtles is typically in ponds or large aquariums.
Tortoises are more land based than other turtles. Identify tortoises by their thick, stalky back legs that are shaped similar to an elephant's. Many tortoises have spiny scales on their front legs to help them burrow in the earth.
north american desert tortoise
These medium size tortoises have adapted to living in dry, arid climates.
Endangered, and protected by law, these interesting creatures should not be handled or disturbed in the wild. Numerous ones have reached civilization and you can get California permits to legally care for those.
african "sulcata" desert tortoise
The adorable little hatchling that fits in the palm of your hand at the pet store, can in five short years weigh more than 50 pounds and when fully grown can weigh from 140 to 200 pounds.
Sulcata Tortoises are the gentle giants you often see on display. Only the giant tortoises of the Galapagos and Aldabra Islands exceed the Sulcata in size. The adorable little hatchling that fits in the palm of your hand at the pet store, can in five short years weigh more than 50 pounds and when fully grown can weigh from 140 to 200 pounds. But these tortoises, when well cared for, can live for over 100 years.