A tortoise is a reptile with a hard, rounded shell. It's a type of turtle that lives on land all the time — so bring your pet tortoise in the sandbox with you, but not in the pool!

A tortoise is a turtle, but a turtle isn't necessarily a tortoise! While most turtles are excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in the water, tortoises are full-time land dwellers. Their shells are more rounded than those of the typical turtle, and they don't have webbed feet. These are adaptations that help tortoises thrive on land, although they are notoriously slow (think "The Tortoise and the Hare").

Definitions of tortoise
  1. noun
    usually herbivorous land turtles having clawed elephant-like limbs; worldwide in arid area except Australia and Antarctica
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    European tortoise, Testudo graeca
    small land tortoise of southern Europe
    giant tortoise
    very large tortoises of the Galapagos and Seychelles islands
    Gopherus polypemus, gopher, gopher tortoise, gopher turtle
    burrowing edible land tortoise of southeastern North America
    Gopherus agassizii, desert tortoise
    burrowing tortoise of the arid western United States and northern Mexico; may be reclassified as a member of genus Xerobates
    Texas tortoise
    close relative to the desert tortoise; may be reclassified as a member of genus Xerobates
    type of:
    any of various aquatic and land reptiles having a bony shell and flipper-like limbs for swimming
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