Turtle or Tortoise?


I’ve heard and read that it’s easy to tell the difference between a turtle and a tortoise but for the life of me, I can’t remember what characteristics you’re supposed to look for in order to tell.


So, that being said, I’m not sure if this guy (or gal) I saw while on a bike ride this past fall is a turtle or a tortoise. I’m going with my gut here and guessing turtle. If I’m wrong, someone please correct me and re-educate me on the differences between the two. I do seem to remember that the shape and size of the shell was one way to tell them apart but again, I don’t know what characteristics belong to which. Either way, this was a surprise to encounter on the trail and I was sure to keep my distance in case it was a snapper or…you know…a ninja. [-_^]



Anyway, this dude (or dudette as I didn’t go poking around looking to see what gender it was. That would have been awkward for everyone involved!), was just cruising along down the Sunrise Trail in eastern Maine, heading from one small boggy body of water, to another. I don’t know how far it traveled before I happened upon it but by the time it headed into the grass toward the water, it traveled a good mile from where I first encountered it. I even took a little video of it cruising along. For an animal that’s known to be slow, this little dude was just trucking!


I just thought I’d share this now because I was looking back through my photo archive from 2017 and realized I hadn’t shared any shots of this dude before. I can hear your gasps of shock and indignation. I also have shots from another bike ride of a baby turtle (yeah, I’m going with turtle), but I’ll share one from that group later. Maybe for my next post.


Until next time…




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