Turtles live both on the continents and in the coastal waters that wash them, as well as in the open ocean. The distribution area of these animals is very large – they are found everywhere on land and in the seas, with the exception of the coast of Antarctica and northeast Eurasia. Therefore, on the map, the territory of residence can be represented as a wide strip from approximately 55 degrees north latitude to 45 degrees south.
Depending on where turtles are found, they can be divided into 2 categories:
- Marine – their habitats are the most diverse: these are the waters of the oceans.
- Ground – in turn are divided into 2 groups:
a. Terrestrial – They live exclusively on land.
b. Freshwater – live in water (rivers, lakes, ponds, backwaters).
Basically, turtles are heat-loving animals, so they are common only in equatorial, tropical and temperate climates. They can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Animals live in most countries:
- in Africa, turtles are found everywhere;
- on the territory of North America, they are distributed mainly in the USA and in the countries of the equatorial belt;
- in South America – in all countries except Chile and southern Argentina;
- in Eurasia everywhere, with the exception of Great Britain, Scandinavia, most of Russia, China and the Arabian Peninsula;
- in Australia everywhere, with the exception of the central part of the mainland and New Zealand.
At home, these animals are bred everywhere: the turtle lives on any continent in captivity, provided that normal temperature, humidity and nutrition are provided. However, life expectancy at home is always less than in the natural environment.
Land tortoise habitats
The family of land turtles includes 57 species. Almost all of them are located in open spaces with a mild or hot climate – these are:
- ደቡብ አውሮፓ;
- North, Central and South America.
Mostly animals settle in the steppes, deserts, prairies or savannahs. Some species prefer moist, shady places – they settle in tropical forests. Turtles love temperate and tropical climates. In the first case, they clearly observe seasonality and go into hibernation for the winter. In the second case, the reptiles remain active throughout the entire period and never prepare for wintering.
Other common representatives of land turtles include the following species:
The common land tortoise, which is often bred in Russia at home, is a Central Asian species. In nature, these land turtles live in the following regions:
- መካከለኛው እስያ;
- southern regions of Kazakhstan;
- northeastern regions of Iran;
- India and Pakistan;
It is mainly found in the steppes, but the Central Asian tortoise can be found even in the foothills at an altitude of just over 1 km. Despite the high prevalence of this reptile, recently it has often been subjected to poaching attacks, therefore it is already listed in the Red Book.
Range of freshwater turtles
These turtles in nature live only in freshwater bodies of water with relatively clean water – in rivers, lakes or ponds. In the freshwater family, there are 77 species of different turtles ranging in size from small to medium. They are true amphibians, because they are able to stay for a long time not only in water, but also on land. The most famous turtles are:
The bog turtle lives in Central and Southern Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. It is also found in Russia – the regions of the North Caucasus and the Crimea. She prefers small rivers and quiet lakes, backwaters with a muddy bottom, where you can burrow for the winter. This is a heat-loving animal that winters in non-freezing water bodies. In southern Europe and northern Africa, the reptile remains active throughout the year.
Red-eared turtles live in nature in North and South America:
- countries of the equatorial belt;
- northern Venezuela;
The Cayman species also lives in the USA and along the southern borders of Canada, and this reptile is not found in other territories. The painted turtle lives in the same region.
Where do sea turtles live
The sea turtle lives in the salty waters of the world’s oceans – both in the coastal zone and in the open sea. This family has several species, among which the most famous are turtles:
The main habitat is tropical seas washing continents and individual islands. Mostly sea turtles live in open warm currents or coastal waters. They, like freshwater species, spend most of their lives in the water. However, they come ashore every year to lay their eggs on the wild sandy beaches.
The green sea turtle (also called the soup turtle) lives in the tropics and subtropics in the seas of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This is a very large species – an individual reaches 1,5 m in length, and up to 500 kg in weight. Since the habitat of this sea turtle often intersects with human settlements, hunting is organized for it in order to obtain tasty meat. Therefore, in recent years, hunting for this species is prohibited in almost all countries.
Turtles live in most natural areas with the exception of the tundra and taiga. In the foothills they are found at an altitude of 1-1,5 km, in the depths of the ocean they are practically not common. They prefer to stay close to the surface in order to constantly have access to air. Since these are heat-loving reptiles, the main factor limiting their distribution is temperature. Therefore, in the harsh climate of Russia and other northern countries, most often they can only be found in captivity.
Where do turtles live in nature?
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