Idaho Zoos, Aquariums and Wildlife

Butterflies in Bloom exhibit"Butterflies in Bloom exhibit" at the Boise Zoo


Tortoise eating a strawberry Tortoise eating a strawberry

Boise ID Zoo

Idaho Falls ID Zoo

Nampa ID Zoo

What's the difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle?

A tortoise is a land dwelling turtle with high domed shell and elephant-shaped (columnar) hind legs. Tortoises go to water only to drink or bathe. In contrast, a turtle spends most of its life in the water. Turtles tend to have webbed feet for swimming. Turtles may be pond turtles, river turtles, box turtles, sea turtles, etc.

There is also a Terrapin—which spends its time both on land and in water. It always lives near water such as rivers, ponds, and lakes. Terrapins are often found in swampy areas.

Turtles and tortoises do not have ears like ours, but they can feel vibrations and changes in water pressure that tell them where food or a predator might be. They do have a good sense of smell, which helps them to find food.

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