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Question: All turtles have hard shells.
Answer: Not all turtles have hard shells. Softshell turtles, for example, have shells that seem more like leather than like armor.
Question: Turtles can catch cold.
Answer: Turtles are subject to several viruses that cause infections in the upper respiratory tract. These diseases are the equivalent of the colds that affect humans.
Question: The smallest turtle lives in Africa.
Answer: The world’s smallest turtle, less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) long, is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa.
Question: There are about 20 species of turtles.
Answer: The world has more than 300 species of turtles. About a third live in Asia.
Question: Turtles have very sharp teeth.
Answer: Turtles that are living today do not have teeth. Teeth have been identified in fossils of some prehistoric turtles, however.
Question: Turtles cannot run.
Answer: Turtles can move quickly, relative to their size, if endangered. However, the fastest turtle on land moves more slowly than the slowest human jogger.
Question: The oldest turtle is about 15 years old.
Answer: Many species of reptile can live for more than 20 years in zoos. Certain turtles have lived for more than 100 years.
Question: The first turtles evolved about 200 million years ago.
Answer: Turtle fossils have been found in geological strata dated to more than 200 million years old.
Question: The largest living turtles today live on islands.
Answer: The largest living turtles live on the Galapagos Islands of the Pacific Ocean and the Seychelles Islands of the Indian Ocean. They can attain lengths of 4 feet (1.2 meters).
Question: Turtles can see in color.
Answer: The eyes of turtles include cones and rods that enable the animals to see colors. The role of color perception in the daily lives of turtles, however, is not known.
Turtle, green turtle, Chelonia mydas, chelonian, reptile, animal

Turtles: Fact or Fiction?

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