Turtles are reptiles with hard, bony shells and have been around a really long time. With a history that dates back 215 million years, they are older than both lizards and snakes. Whether your interest lies in wild endangered sea turtles, or a mud turtle to keep your backyard, these sites will certainly serve up what you're looking for.
The best reason to visit the California Turtle and Tortoise Club site is this gallery of annotated turtle photos, alphabetized by either scientific or common name. From the African Spurred Tortoise to the Western Pond Turtle, most of the thirty-two species have multiple photos showing the differences between the male and female turtles. Before clicking away to visit another site, look for the audio gallery of courting male tortoise vocalizations. Who knew?
All About Turtles has a fun, playful attitude that shines through in all its features. The Tale of Two Turtles, is a "first-person" narrative told by both a snapping turtle and a loggerhead turtle. Other great sections include a guide to turtle parts (Carapace-top shell, an outgrowth of bone), turtle crafts ( Turtle Eggs uses walnuts shells as newly hatched turtles), a guide to the turtle species of Maine, and an article about what you can do to help turtle conservation. "1. Keep wild turtles in the wild. Don't collect pond turtles for pets. Observe and enjoy them in their natural habitat."
The Great Turtle Race is a two-week 3,700 mile migration from the "foraging grounds in the frigid waters of Canada to nesting beaches on the sun-soaked shores of the Caribbean" that began on April 9, 2009. National Geographic follows eleven tagged leatherback sea turtles with satellite tracking devices, and shares the data in an easy-to-enjoy format. Meet the racers, learn more about leatherback turtles, peruse the photo gallery, and watch the turtles' progress from Canada to South America.
"Turtles can make great pets if they are cared for properly, and we hope this website can help you decide whether or not a turtle is the right pet for you." The care, feeding, and breeding of turtles and tortoises are covered with articles and a lively discussion board. Visit to share your turtle experience and photos with other turtle enthusiasts, to post your own questions, or to learn from other turtle hobbyists. For links to lots of turtle care sheets (species-specific pet care summaries) look for the sticky posts (entries that don't scroll off the discussion board) at the top of the Caresheets forum.
"Q. How many kinds of turtles are there? A. About 270 (and still counting.)" The folks at Turtle Puddle have created a Q and A page just for kids that includes links to external turtle sites. A few of those links are broken (sigh!) but I liked the concept enough to include them here anyway. The rest of site is also kid-friendly, and includes lots of information about turtle car, turtle anatomy, and turtle health issues. "Q. Can turtles hear? Do they have ears? A. Yes, and yes."