A Look at the Different Sizes of Turtles
Turtles may vary greatly in size, creating a wide range in the species. Depending on their habitats, diet, and other physiological and ecological variables, commonplace turtles can range in size from just a few centimeters to over one meter in shell length.
The world’s smallest turtles are the Speckled Cape Tortoise and the Speckled Padloper Tortoise, both native to South Africa. As adults, the species will typically grow to be 3 inches in shell length and weigh about five ounces.
The largest turtles in the world are the Leatherback Sea Turtles, as adults they easily grow to be six feet in shell length and weigh in at a whopping 2000 pounds. These turtles are found in all tropical and subtropical oceans across the world, mostly near their mating and breeding grounds.
The average turtle’s size will vary greatly, depending on their species. Here are some examples of more commonly known turtle species and the adult size they will reach:
- Box Turtles: 6.5 to 8 inches in shell length.
- Red-Eared Slider Turtles: 8 to 12 inches in shell length.
- Painted Turtles: 4 to 10 inches in shell length.
- Wood Turtles: 5 to 8 inches in shell length.
It’s important to note that these measurements are only for the adult size of each particular species, and will not represent the measurements of younger turtles.
As you can see, turtles come in all sorts of sizes, ranging from a few centimeters to more than one meter. So the next time you stumble upon a turtle in the wild, you can marvel at how different they can all be!