Does the Turtle Have a Voice?

In the way we usually think of a voice, the answer is no as far as most turtles are concerned, but there are giant tortoises who grunt, roar or even bellow!

Turtle is the collective name for a family of reptiles which we call tortoises when they live on land, turtles when sea-going and terrapins when they live in fresh water! Did you know that as a family they are more ancient than dinosaurs?

Perhaps the reason is that a turtle does not really need a voice to protect itself. After all, it has that wonderful shell. These shells are made up of a “bony box” covered with horny plates.


The shell is divided into two parts, with one part covering the back, the other covering the underpart of the turtle’s body. Through the openings between the two parts, the turtle can stick out is had its head, neck, tail and legs.

Turtles can grows to tremendous size. The largest kind in the world today is the leatherblack. It usually weighs about 450 killograms. But this is nothing compared to certain species of turtles which have become extinct.

One such species is called “Colossochelys”. it was a giant tortoise that became extinct about 5 million years ago and there is a complete skeleton of one in the Natural History Museum in London.

The shell is about the size of a mini and you could fit an engine and four wheels and drive it away into the London traffi! Turtles are also supposed to live to a ripe old age. The giants tortoise lives longer than any other vertebrate animal (an animal with a backbone).

There are many cases on record of such turtles having lived 100 years and longer, and there may be some that lived as long as 200 years!   

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