Today is World Turtle Day, so our friend Tommy the Turtle thought we should let you know all about turtles!
National Turtle Day was started in 1990 by the American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organisation set up to protect of all species of tortoise and turtle and offer permanent sanctuary to abandoned and lost tortoises, including special needs turtles and tortoises.
They came up with the idea of a day that was specially designed to tell people all about our little hard-shelled friends and how we can protect them – they are on the edge of extinction right now which we know you’ll agree is incredibly sad.
At Learn Play Grow, we are not just about keeping a healthy body, but also a healthy mind – and we encourage our children to do that by reading up on interesting facts and figures about fun animals – like turtles!
Here are some interesting facts about turtles that you might enjoy discussing with your little ones on this important day for turtles – and help them to understand why it’s so important that we protect these fascinating creatures.
Turtles – did you know….
- Turtles have a hard shell to protect them from predators whilst swimming around in the ocean
- They are one of the oldest groups of reptiles, evolving millions of years ago.
- There are more than 300 species of turtles, living throughout the world and in all types of climate.
- The Galapagos turtle (which you would have seen in some of David Attenborough’s programmes) can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh 260kg!
- One of the smallest turtles that has ever been recorded is the speckled cape tortoise measuring a tiny 3.1 inches and weighing just 142g.
- Turtles are not sociable creatures, but they don’t mind if others are around them. They are more focused on foraging for food than interacting.
- When turtles lay their eggs on the beach, the temperature of the sand can determine the sex of the turtle, which means that with rising global temperatures more female turtles are being born than male.
- Many species of turtle are now classified as either threatened, endangered or critically endangered, with some species predicted to be extinct in 45 years.
To celebrate turtles and National Turtle Day, we’ve found you some downloadable sheets that give you even more turtle facts:
As a treat to mark this day, Tommy the Turtle has a special little treat for you all – a free Tommy the Turtle colouring sheet.
He would love to see your little ones colouring sheets when they are finished – just post a picture of yours on our Facebook page!