Top 11 Turtle Shell Facts

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turtle shell facts

Turtles have a hard, protective shell that surrounds their vital organs. It’s formed of bones, especially the ribs and pelvis and it developed over time by adding dermal armor to the rib cage.

Turtles can be found all over the world, and there are more than 250 different species.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – their shell. The turtle shell is a fascinating and unique structure, and there are many myths and facts about it.

What Is Special About Turtle-Shells?

The first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions a turtle is a shell. A turtle’s shell is not simply a hard outer covering as many may believe.

It’s a vital component of the turtle’s body armor, contrary to popular belief, and has evolved in such a way that it provides the animal with both protection and a place to store fat reserves.

Top 11 Turtle Shell Facts

Top 11 Turtle Shell Facts
  1. A turtle can’t just pop out of its shell, as most people think. The shell is actually fused to the rib cage and spinal column.
  2. A turtle’s shell is made up of about 60 bones, which is more than half of all the bones in its body. The upper (carapace) and lower part (plastron) of the shell are connected by a bridge.
  3. Turtles have a reinforced shell that can endure up to 200 times their weight which can sometimes make it stronger and aluminum.
  4. The turtle shell can repair itself over time by shedding old scutes with new ones.
  5. A turtle’s shell is composed of bone, and it contains nerve endings that allow it to detect when anything brushes against it. They feel vibrations, temperatures changes, and pressure.
  6. The carapace is encased in an outer layer of individual scoots made out of keratin, the same substance that can be found in your hair and nails.
  7. Although the color and shell pattern may vary considerably between species, they all serve the same purpose: to conceal it so as to blend in with its species’ natural environment.
  8. Aquatic turtles have a more flatter shell in order to be better swimmers while tortoises that live on land have a more dome-shaped shell to help them escape predators.
  9. Most of the turtles when threatened can hide their head and legs in the shells while sea and sideneck African turtles cannot.
  10. The carapace of a land-dwelling turtle can make it help to float while in the water.
  11. The lungs of the turtle sit at the top of the shell while hips and shoulders for example are entirely within the turtle’s shell, making them the only land animal on Earth with this feature.

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Turtles have a fascinating and unique structure, which is their shell.

While the shell offers protection and is necessary for their survival, myths have arisen over time that has surrounded this body part.