are turtles lizards

Are Turtles Lizards?

Turtles may look like lizards, but they are definitely not lizards. Turtles are turtle-shaped creatures with a large, protective shell on their backs, while lizards have scales, claws and long tails.

Differences between Turtles and Lizards

  • Appearance – Turtles and lizards look very similar but they have several distinct differences. Turtles have a large, hard shell that covers and protects their bodies, while lizards have skin with scales and claws. Turtles have short legs and wide feet, while lizards have long legs and narrow feet.
  • Habitats – Turtles can be found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds, while lizards live in deserts, mountains, grasslands, and forests. Turtles mostly stay in the water, while lizards are found on land.
  • Size – Turtles can range from very small to very large sizes, while lizards are usually much smaller than turtles.
  • Diet – Turtles are omnivores, while lizards are usually carnivores.


Turtles and lizards may look similar, but they are distinct animals with some very different characteristics. Turtles are larger, have a hard shell, and mostly inhabit water habitats, while lizards are smaller, have scales and claws, and live primarily on land. Turtles and lizards are both reptiles, but they are not the same species.

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