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What's the deal with turtles being slow?:

I can understand tortoises not being busybodies, but I refuse to believe from cartoons and media that turtles are as slow as snails. Granted they are not the fastest animals in the world, but they're still pretty quick when they're startled. I should know, I kept a few red-eared sliders as a child. Probably one of the most dangerous turtles is the alligator snapping turtles, which have extremely fast biting reflexes.
 
 2 Vellup, Mon, 24th Sep '12 2:02:06 PM from America Relationship Status: The Skitty to my Wailord
I have balls.
I guess so. That preconception is based more on the assumption that all turtles are the same thing as tortoises, though. Consider that Aesop's tale is called "The Tortoise and the Hare'' and not "The Turtle and the Hare". Turtles can swim and actively hunt prey, so sure, they tend to move around a lot if you give them enough room. I get angry when I see people keeping adult red sliders alone in enclosures the same size as a shoebox.

The herbivorous land tortoises however, really are slow. In water, turtles don't have to worry as much about the weight of their shells, but with tortoises, moving around too much is just a waste of energy, and as such, they're easily one of the laziest animals on the face of the planet (after my dog, of course).

So if there's a take away message to be had from this, it's that tortoises really are slow. Water-dwelling turtles, not so much.

edited 24th Sep '12 2:02:46 PM by Vellup

They never travel alone.
 3 Joesolo, Mon, 24th Sep '12 2:11:38 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
I live right next to a lake. Turtles are, generally, when out of water, pretty slow. even catching one and letting it go they don't move quick. they like going slow and sitting in the sun.

I've seen the haul ass when they want to, but they dont want to very much. and their version of "hauling ass" is maybe walking speed for a person.

In water, their quite a bit quicker, especially when their diving off something.

edited 24th Sep '12 2:12:51 PM by Joesolo

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 4 resetlocksley, Mon, 24th Sep '12 3:34:09 PM from the TARDIS Relationship Status: Only knew I loved her when I let her go
Geronimo!
Yeah, they're slow...just not as painfully, glacially slow as commonly believed/expected to be.
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 5 0dd 1, Mon, 24th Sep '12 8:52:04 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
This seems like a thread more fitting in Yack Fest...
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 6 Trivialis, Mon, 24th Sep '12 8:53:39 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Man that's a fast turtle. The ones I saw were pretty slow, but I can see that being exaggerated.

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 7 Purple Dalek, Tue, 25th Sep '12 2:37:11 AM from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Soufflés and a cup of tea
My cat is afraid of my tortoise.

Seriously, cats are pussies.
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 8 Inverurie Jones, Thu, 27th Sep '12 4:30:47 AM from Station 78 Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
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That preconception is based more on the assumption that all turtles are the same thing as tortoises, though

See, I never understood that. They're clearly not the same animal and one would have to be fairly moronic to confuse the two.

Legs =/= flippers.
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Euo will do!
[up][up]
For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

The problem with both tortoises and turtles... they don't seem to fall in any of the above at first blush. It's probably why your cat his found an option (e) scary, not sure what to do with. wink

edited 27th Sep '12 4:52:29 AM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
I want Kat's glasses!
[up][up]In some languages (like French) they use the same word, tortue; the qualifier terrestre or aquatique is only added when thought to be relevant.

Myself thought both English words to be synonyms until I read this thread.

edited 27th Sep '12 5:00:48 AM by Medinoc

They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 11 Purple Dalek, Thu, 27th Sep '12 6:03:55 AM from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Soufflés and a cup of tea
Another difference is that tortoises are herbivores whereas turtles eat fish.

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 12 Madrugada, Thu, 27th Sep '12 8:02:31 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Not all turtles have flippers. Sea turtles have flippers.
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Wait... There are turtles that are not tortoises but are not sea either? I suddenly understand jack shit.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 14 Mobile Leprechaun, Thu, 27th Sep '12 9:00:02 AM from La ciudad se llama Duke, Nuevo México el estado Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Blargle
Yeppers, the terminology is quite confusing. These turtles are known as terrapins, and include species such as soft-shelled turtles and red-eared sliders.

Hell, if it's a reptile and it's got a shell, I'm calling it a "turtle", proper terminology be damned. That's just me, though.
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I want Kat's glasses!
Ah, those are freshwater turtles. OK.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 16 Kayeka, Thu, 27th Sep '12 10:14:58 AM from Amsterdam Relationship Status: Brony
World's biggest wannabe
In the Netherlands, we also only have one word for tortoises and turtles: schildpad )or 'shelled toad', if you will).

It makes it a little annoying when discussing biology.
I can personally attest that at least some tortoises can hustle quite rapidly if they need to. They don't sprint and can't pull the acrobatic stunts similarly sized mammals can, but they compete fairly well with most comparable reptiles.

Also, for the non-native English speakers here: a "tortoise" is an creature that lives exclusively on land, generally in dry sandy places. "Turtle" refers to the ones the swim, but in common use it often refers to the smaller tortoises and sometimes it is used as a broad term for the entire group of shelled reptiles.
<><
 18 0dd 1, Thu, 27th Sep '12 1:42:01 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Gah, stop making me realize how wrong I am about shelled semi-aquatic reptiles!
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Euo will do!
[up][up]Terrapins: semi-aquatic to almost fully aquatic freshwater turtles. However, no matter how well adapted for swimming, they're not usually as aquatic as sea turtles... for obvious reasons. Beware: nasty bites. wink Oh... and some are omnivores. Hence, those bites. tongue

edited 27th Sep '12 4:03:34 PM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 20 Loni Jay, Sat, 29th Sep '12 8:15:08 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
My understanding was that tortoises have stumpy feet with short toes, while freshwater turtles have webbed feet and sea turtles have the massive flippers. But then, I don't believe Australia has any tortoises, so I've never seen one.
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Total posts: 20
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