10 largest turtles in the world

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Turtles are one of our oldest reptiles. the planet. This species appeared more than 200 million years ago and existed simultaneously with dinosaurs. Unlike the latter, turtles were much better adapted to changing conditions Habitat and survived to our time. Played a significant role in this unique armor protection that protects the body creeping from any dangers, whether predators or adverse natural influences. Organism turtles also special for this class of animals – their lifespan may exceed 200 years. They have keen eyesight, and besides eyes perceive almost the entire spectrum of colors. Turtles it is customary to divide by habitat: on land, marine and freshwater.

Among these reptiles there are both small and very large species. The largest ever tortoises Archelon, living during the Cretaceous period – the length of their body reached 4.6 meters, and they weighed more than two tons. These giants have long been extinct, however, some of the modern species of turtles (and all of them over 320) are also able to surprise with their size.

Rating The biggest turtles in the world

Nomination a place name Length Weight
Rating The biggest turtles in the world 10 Cayman Turtle 35 cm 30 kg
9 Pond slider 37 cm.
8 Fringed tortoise 40 cm. 15 KG.
7 Spurred tortoise 80 cm 100 KG.
6 Arrau 100 cm. 70 KG.
5 Gigantic tortoise 120 cm. 200 KG.
4 Vulture turtle 150 cm. 80 KG.
3 Green turtle 150 cm. 200 KG.
2 Elephant turtle 180 cm. 400 KG.
1 Leatherback turtle 260 cm. 900 KG.

10th place – Cayman Turtle

Rating: 4.1


This species is found in southern Canada, in central and eastern parts of the USA. The weight of individuals is from 14 to 30 kilograms, length the shell is about 35 centimeters. Cayman or as they are also called, biting turtles have a large, sharp and strong beak, allowing you to bite even bones. Animals are known for their aggressiveness – sensing a threat, they actively defend themselves, stretching his head on a long neck and trying to bite the attacker. Turtles live in freshwater bodies of water: lakes or rivers with slow flow. The main source of food is fish, frogs, shrimp and other small animals. Being too sluggish to keep up with prey, cayman tortoise attacks the victim from an ambush, tearing it with its beak and claws, or swallowing whole. In the cold season they fall into the deep hibernation, burying in silt at the bottom of a reservoir.

9th place – Trachess tortoise

Rating: 4.2

Pond slider

Trachemys have mottled green or olive color, they got their name thanks to bright red (sometimes yellow-red) spots behind the eyes resembling ears. Body length females, which are larger than males, reach 37 centimeters. Turtles are widespread in the Americas, also found in southeast Asia, in Africa and warm European countries. In Australia, they are recognized pests for crowding out local endemic reptile species. Turtles prefer to settle in marshy ponds, lead sedentary semi-aquatic lifestyle. Young individuals hunt much more often, they catch small fish, crustaceans, frogs, mollusks, insects, mice. Diet of adult red-eared turtles consists mostly of plant foods. Are different curiosity, but extremely careful – noting the potential danger from a distance of 40 meters, immediately slip into the water.

8th place – Fringed tortoise

Rating: 4.3


A large representative of the order of snake-necked turtles, has flattened triangular head, small close set eyes and a long neck with rows of small leather spikes. Such fancy look combined with taupe allows a fringed tortoise to mimic successfully under a stupefied wooden snags hiding in the vicinity of prey. The weight of adults is about 15 kilograms, the length of the shell – up to 40 centimeters. The habitat includes more than a dozen South American countries, in addition, found in Florida, USA. A fringed tortoise or matamata, as the locals call it, leads a water lifestyle, lives in muddy lakes, ponds and slow flowing rivers. It hunts most often at night, catches fish, shellfish and tadpoles, swallowing them whole. When drying out of the reservoir, matamata burrow deep into the silt at the bottom, hibernating until the rainy season begins.

7th place – Spurred tortoise

Rating: 4.4

Spurred tortoise

A spurred tortoise inhabits deserts and savannahs on the territory African continent. It has an armor longer than 80 centimeters, weight may exceed 100 kilograms. By its name the tortoise owes large located on the hips of the hind limbs spurs, necessary primarily for digging holes. Underground tunnels up to four meters deep and up to 15 meters long necessary to hide from the heat of the day, because in the desert air temperature rises above 40 degrees Celsius. At that at night, the thermometer sometimes drops to 3 degrees. Young turtles usually do not build their own shelters, but enjoy the abandoned burrows of rodents. Most active these animals show in the morning and evening – then they look sources of food. As such, a rare desert vegetation, sometimes insects supplement the diet. For mating season characterized by long ritual battles for the female, which often result in the death of one of the rivals.

6th place – Arrau

Rating: 4.5


Arrau or tartaruga inhabit the countries of South America, most often them can be found in the basins of full-flowing rivers such as the Amazon lagoons and large forest ponds. Belong to the squamous squad turtles have a characteristic oblong groove between the eyes. Sexual dimorphism is clearly expressed – females differ in the shape of the carapace and more impressive sizes. Large individuals grow up to meters, the weight is about 70 kilograms. Most part of time reptiles spend in the aquatic environment, there they find themselves food. Eat aquatic plants, fallen tree fruits, also catch small fish. Turtles do not hibernate, keeping activity throughout the year. Arrau often become victims of predators, because they are deprived of hearing organs.

5th place – Gigantic tortoise

Rating: 4.6

Gigantic tortoise

Another name for the species is the Seychelles giant tortoise. It has large, high shell and strong columnar legs, thanks why her growth is 60-80 centimeters. Adult turtles grow to 120 centimeters in length, while weighing more than two hundred kilogram. Is endemic to the Aldabra Island in the Indian Ocean, A population of approximately 150 thousand individuals lives there. There are several more small colonies, settled by others. islands of the archipelago. Gigantic turtles are among the rare species and protected by law. On their home island is prohibited vigorous economic activity, large types of construction. A special nursery has been created where cubs are provided constant care and nutrition, and at the age of five they are released in wildlife. Most of the day, adult turtles are busy searching. food, the diet includes leaves, various plants, fallen fruits. When they get food, they can stand on their hind legs and even interact with each other, building tall living “pyramids”. Seychelles giant tortoises are centenarians, some of them survive to 150 years.

4th place – Vulture Turtle

Rating: 4.7


Vulture turtles live in the United States, inhabit lakes, rivers, ponds, canals of the southeastern states, are often found in the swampy tributaries of the Mississippi River. Outwardly, they are similar to cayman, but differ in size, longer beak, wide with planted eyes and the shape of the shell. The latter has ranks sawtooth ridges, its length reaches one and a half meters. Weight adults – about 80 kilograms, these are the largest freshwater turtles in the world. The habitat is water bodies with muddy bottom and dense vegetation. They eat fish, river crayfish, snails and other small aquatic inhabitants. Are hunting turtles, waiting for prey at the bottom, among the algae, and the bait serves as a special red process in the tongue, similar to a bright worm. Males lead an exclusively aquatic lifestyle, females occasionally go out on land, but only for laying eggs.

3rd place – Green turtle

Rating: 4.8


A green or soup turtle is found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. It has an oval shell, its length often exceeds 150 centimeters. Reptile head covered with hard shields, eyes large, almond-shaped. Turtles can weigh about 200 kilogram, although there are larger representatives of the species. Adults feed on plant foods, usually live in coastal waters, in places where there are underwater caves and grottoes, serving as shelters from predators. Young turtles live in open sea, and their diet includes not only vegetation, but also jellyfish, crustaceans, plankton and mollusks. Prefer a solitary lifestyle. Ashore green turtles rarely come out only when the time comes to lay eggs.

2nd place – Elephant turtle

Rating: 4.9

Elephant turtle

Endemic view of the Galapagos Islands, the largest of all land turtles on the planet. Grow about 180 centimeters in length, and their weight reaches 400 kilograms. Depending on the subspecies, the shell can be domed or saddle-shaped. Elephant or Galapagos tortoises live long, more than a hundred years. They eat plant foods, while they are extremely unpretentious – eat everything, from juicy fruits to cacti, shrubs and poisonous plants. Settled, as a rule, in thickets near trees where it is easy to hide from predators. Turtles are different stamina, can do without water and food for several months, consuming your own fat supply. Migrate from time to time to looking for places with more dense vegetation.

1st place – Leatherback turtle

Rating: 5.0

Leatherback turtle

The largest tortoise in the world belongs to the marine family turtles, this species appeared on Earth almost a million years ago. It lives in the waters of most seas and all oceans, with the exception of Of the Arctic. The structure of the shell is very different from others. turtles. It consists of fused solid leather plates with clearly pronounced longitudinal ridges. Torso length in individual cases exceeding 2.6 meters, and the weight is 900 kilogram. On land, leatherback turtles are slow and clumsy, however, in water due to the teardrop-shaped aerodynamic shape and huge fins with a range of up to three meters, they can develop speed of 35 kilometers per hour. The diet includes jellyfish, mollusks, crustaceans, young fish and other inhabitants deep water. In search of food, turtles can overcome significant distances, there are cases when they sailed to 20,000 kilometers. They prefer warm tropical water, but if necessary a leatherback turtle can survive in cold waters, maintaining the necessary body temperature.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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