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

n 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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