Turtle Facts: 15 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know (Part 2)

Ben Hicks / nationalgeographic.com
Ben Hicks / nationalgeographic.com

We already brought you part one of this list of facts about the turtle. We learned in the last article that the shell is not what we think it is, and that these creatures can be more ferocious than previously imagined. Here is part two of our list.

Number Eight: They Differentiate Genders by Scent

The sexual organs of these animals exist beneath the tail. Since they cannot tell each other apart by sight alone, they sniff each other in this spot to be able to tell for mating purposes.

Number Seven: They Are Almost Deaf

They do not hear anywhere near as well as humans but have a bit of a hearing ability. Their sense of sound is good enough to detect the presence of creatures that may pose a threat.

Number Six: The Turtle Emerged Around the Same Time as the Dinosaur

The oldest known fossil of a turtle dates back over 200 million years. This means that they didn’t come into existence too long after dinosaurs, and are extremely ancient.

Number Five: Some Turtles That Existed With Dinosaurs Still Exist Today

There is a particular species of freshwater turtle that first came into being 120 million years ago. This means that they co-existed on earth with dinosaurs.

Number Four: They Move Their Limbs to Breathe

Since they don’t have a diaphragm, the animals need to move their limbs, neck, and a variety of other muscles in order to breathe. Their ribs are not expandable, so breathing the way other animals do is out of the question.

Number Three: Buccopharyngeal Breathing

This is a process which turtles that live in water use to breathe. They take water into their mouths and then exhale it out their nasal cavities.

Number Two: Turtles Are Visually Oriented Animals

These animals rely on sight, the way humans do, as their main source of survival. They use this to identify potential danger and to scout out food sources. When blindfolded, they are hopelessly handicapped.

Number One: Red, Orange, and Yellow Are their Favorite Colors

Not only is the turtle able to see a spectrum of colors, but they prefer certain colors typically associated with a possible meal. We hope you enjoyed part two of our list.