A-z - Animals

Meet the 10 cutest sea turtles in the world

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Did you know there are 360 species of sea turtles? You may be as biased as we are and think all sea turtles are cute. Anyway, here are ten of the cutest sea turtles in the world.

Sea turtles are reptiles with very unique characteristics. They grow a shell! The turtle shell is mainly made of bone, and the outer surface is covered with scales made of keratin. Some turtles have soft shells that are not made of bone. Some turtles live in freshwater, some prefer the ocean, and some live on land. Turtles are cold-blooded, so their body temperature is affected by the environment.

Most turtles are omnivores, eating a variety of foods including plants, mollusks, worms and insects. Turtles that live on land tend to eat more plants, while turtles that live in water rely more on meat for food. In this article, we'll review more fun facts about these adorable sea turtles. let's start!

1. Mississippi map turtle ( Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni )

Mississippi Map Turtle
Mississippi Map Turtles prefer to live in areas that have both land and water.

©iStock.com/Artur Bogacki

The Mississippi map turtle is a species of tortoise and aquatic turtle that gets its name from the Mississippi River. It was named in the 19th century by naturalist Joseph G. Kohn. And definitely cute!

This adorable turtle has a gray shell covered with yellow lines. They are not very large turtles, only ten inches at the largest. They have a long lifespan, so if you're planning to keep one as a pet, be prepared for a 20-year commitment.

Mississippi Map Turtles prefer to live in areas that have both land and water. In nature, they live on fallen trees on the banks of rivers.

Mississippi map turtles eat a mix of vegetables, grasses, snails, clams, insects, worms, and fish. They are threatened by loss of nesting grounds, pollution and capture by fishing nets.

2. Painted Turtle ( Chrysemys picta )

Painted turtle sits on a tree stump by the water.
Painted tortoises can reach a maximum diameter of ten inches and have a dark, smooth, edgeless shell that is adorable.

©KARI K/Shutterstock.com

This adorable turtle has a wide distribution and lives all over North America, from Canada to Mexico. They are freshwater turtles that like to make their home in wetland areas. The fossil record shows that painted turtles lived 15 million years ago!

Painted tortoises can reach a maximum diameter of ten inches and have a dark, smooth, edgeless shell that is adorable. Its skin can be olive or black. Its stripes can be orange, yellow or red.

Painted turtles eat a variety of foods, including algae, plant material, insects, crustaceans, and fish. Because they are warm-blooded, they prefer to be out and hunt during the warmest part of the day. You may have seen one of these adorable turtles basking on a log. Painted turtles hibernate in the mud in winter and come out in spring when the weather is warm.

Painted turtles were once a very popular pet, but recent legislation has discouraged the practice as it's not in the animal's best interest or the environment. Painted turtles need a large enclosure with a filter that is changed frequently and a place to bask. They don't like to be touched and they live for 40 years.

3. Florida box turtle ( Terrapene carolina bauri )

Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri)
Florida box turtles spend most of their lives nestled in bushes, or even underground.

©iStock.com/Dan Rieck

Florida box turtles live in wetlands such as swamps and swamps. They don't like deep water and prefer to spend most of their time on land. They love the sun, especially when the temperature exceeds 80°F. They spend most of their lives nestled in bushes or underground.

They're certainly adorable, with their beautiful domed shells and their distinctive yellow striped pattern. They reach about seven inches in diameter, with females being slightly smaller than males. Their favorite foods are insects, fruits, herbs, grasses, vegetables and mushrooms. They are important members of the ecosystem as they help disperse plant seeds, especially fruit seeds, around their habitat.

Florida box turtles are ready to mate at 13 years of age. They lay 1 to 9 eggs per clutch. Breeding is most successful in years with more precipitation. Scientists are scrutinizing the effects of climate change and drought conditions on their populations.

4. Red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Red-eared turtle on a log
The most distinctive feature of the red-eared turtle is the bright red stripe behind the eyes.

© iStock.com/PaulReevesPhotography

This adorable tortoise is popular; and for good reason, they have a dark green shell that turns blacker with age. Their belly is yellow and their legs, head and tail are light green. They are covered with stripes and markings that help them maintain their camouflage in the wild. Don't forget the cute red bars on the sides of their heads! Red-eared slider turtles can live up to 30 years and grow no larger than 12 inches.

Red-eared turtles are native to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Today, they can be found in many warm climates. In some areas, they are considered an invasive species. They prefer to live in still water such as ponds, lakes and swamps. They feed primarily on aquatic plants, so must live in areas with rich vegetation. They live in or near water and only venture out to spawn or find new habitat.

5. Northern red-bellied turtle ( Pseudemys rubriventris )

Northern Bullfly Coot (Pseudemys rubriventris)
Northern bullflies live in rivers, ponds, creeks, and other slow-moving freshwater in the eastern United States.


Also known as the American red-bellied turtle and the northern red-bellied turtle, this adorable turtle likes to live in rivers. It can reach a maximum size of 12-16 inches in diameter and weigh close to seven pounds. Females are larger than males. They have a lovely reddish-brown shell covered in orange, yellow and red stripes.

They live in rivers, ponds, creeks, and other slow-moving freshwater in the eastern United States. They like to have lots of sun and soft mud for the winter. Like most omnivores, they eat a variety of foods, including plants, worms, fish, and water lilies.

Red-bellied sea turtles are threatened by habitat loss, loss of wetlands, pollution and over-harvesting for pets.

6. Yellow-bellied turtle ( Trachemys scripta scripta )

Types of Pond Turtles - Yellow Belly Turtles
Yellow-bellied sliders have a brown or green shell with a yellow base.

© iStock.com/jrubacha

This adorable turtle lives up to its name, with a yellow underside and a dark brown upper shell. They have beautiful green skin, yellow stripes, and green and yellow patches on their necks and legs. Adults tend to get darker as they age. This species often has distinctive question mark-shaped markings on its abdomen. They can be five to nine inches in diameter and live up to 40 years.

Yellow-bellied sliders can be found in the southeastern United States. They are tortoises and terrapins that live in swamps, swamps, and wetlands. If their area dries up, they will move on to find new, wetter habitat. They eat various vegetables, insects and fish. They are most active in the early morning and the rest of the time they can be seen on shore or basking on floating logs. They sleep at night under bushes or under lily pads.

Yellow-bellied aquatic turtles are threatened by pollution, habitat loss, climate change drying up habitat and loss of nesting grounds.

7. Eastern mud turtle ( Kinosternon subrubrum )

Oriental mud turtle
They prefer flowing oxygenated water to still water, but they can adapt to living in still water, such as swamps and swamps.

©Liz Weber/Shutterstock.com

Eastern mud turtles are very cute, measuring only four inches. Their shells do not have patterns in shades of yellow, brown, and black. They have yellow jaws and their legs and tails are gray.

Mud turtle species are found in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. The eastern mud turtle ( Kinosternon subrubrum ) is native to the United States. They can be found in rivers and lakes as long as there is enough vegetation. They prefer flowing oxygenated water to still water, but they can adapt to living in still water, such as swamps and swamps.

Mud turtles eat invertebrates, fish, and molluscs. They also eat aquatic plants, algae, insects and amphibians.

Eastern mud turtles are threatened by habitat loss, vehicular traffic, and pesticides.

8. Oriental Box Turtle ( Terrapene carolina carolina )

Male Eastern Box Turtle - American tortoise, isolated on white background.
Eastern box turtles are very cute, with domed shells and beautiful colors.

©Studio DMM Photography, Design & Art/Shutterstock.com

This box turtle is native to the eastern United States. It is a pond turtle that makes its home in deciduous forests near ponds or shallow streams. They can also be found in open grasslands and pastures, as long as they have a way to stay moist. However, they dislike deep water and will drown if completely submerged. They are one of the few reptiles that can stay in the same area for long periods of time, sometimes for a lifetime.

Eastern box turtles are very cute, with domed shells and beautiful colors. They range in color from yellow to orange and red and are covered in spots and stripes. They can be up to five or six inches in diameter and live for 25 to 100 years.

Eastern box turtles eat a variety of foods depending on their environment. They eat earthworms, snails, slugs, grasses, fruits, berries, mushrooms, flowers, caterpillars and grubs.

Eastern box turtles are threatened by habitat loss and climate change.

9. Hawksbill sea turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata )

Sea turtle (Hawksbill Turtle) with clean background.
Hawksbill turtles can grow up to three feet long and weigh an average of 180 pounds.

©John Back/Shutterstock.com

This turtle is very cute, with a flat shell that helps it swim easily, and flipper-like legs, each with its own claw. It has a beak that curves like a hawk, and its shell changes color as the water temperature changes. Hawksbill turtles can grow up to three feet long and weigh an average of 180 pounds. The largest ever weighed 280 lbs! They have a lovely amber shell covered with stripes and stripes in various shades of brown. Hawksbill sea turtles are one of the few reptiles that are bioluminescent. This may be due to its steady feeding on bioluminescent corals. They mainly eat sea sponges, algae and marine plants. They have been known to eat jellyfish, sea anemones, fish and molluscs.

The lifespan of hawksbill sea turtles is unknown because they are solitary creatures and difficult to study. They are often killed accidentally or on purpose by humans. They are also threatened by loss and pollution of nesting areas. They are currently listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.

10. Leatherback sea turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea )

leatherback sea turtle
Leatherback sea turtles can weigh up to 1,100 pounds. Instead of a bony shell, it has leathery skin and greasy, elastic flesh.

© iStock.com/YasserBadr_Beenthere

This kind of turtle is also called pipa turtle and leather turtle. It's very cute and big, five to six feet long. Leatherback sea turtles can weigh up to 1,100 pounds. Instead of a bony shell, it has leathery skin and greasy, elastic flesh. They are teardrop-shaped and can swim quickly across the surface of the water with their huge front fins. It is dark gray or black with white spots.

True to their name, the leatherback sea turtle makes its home in the sea. It has a wide range of habitats, with species found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. One population is believed to live in the Indian Ocean, but it has not been extensively studied.

The leatherback sea turtle's favorite food is jellyfish. In fact, these turtles are one of the main reasons why jellyfish populations are not getting out of hand. When hungry, they also eat fish, sea urchins and snails.

These adorable sea turtles are threatened by a number of things, mainly sea trash they mistake for jellyfish to eat, and accidentally caught in fishing nets.

10 Facts About Cute Turtles

  1. Turtles are not dumb. They make all kinds of sounds to communicate!
  2. Turtle shells are sensitive to touch. There are nerves in the turtle shell that help the turtle feel the lightest touch, so be careful!
  3. Most sea turtles are mostly carnivorous when young and more herbivorous as adults.
  4. Not all sea turtles have hard, bony shells.
  5. Hawksbill turtles use their beaks to reach into holes to find food.
  6. Leatherback sea turtles swim more than 10,000 miles per year.
  7. Turtles breathe air, but can stay underwater for hours at a time.
  8. Sea turtles are one of the oldest reptile species. Older than snakes, crocodiles and crocodiles. They lived 200 million years ago!
  9. Some turtles can retract their heads into their shells to protect themselves, while others cannot.
  10. Turtles cannot shed their shells. It grows out of their ribs and is part of their skeleton.

Here's a roundup of the 10 cutest sea turtles in the world

  1. Mississippi Map Turtle
  2. colorful turtle
  3. florida box turtle
  4. Red Ear Slider
  5. northern red-bellied turtle
  6. Yellow Belly Slider
  7. Oriental mud turtle
  8. Oriental box turtle
  9. hawksbill turtle
  10. leatherback sea turtle


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featured image

Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri)

© iStock.com/Dan Rieck

about the author

heather hall

I'm a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by nature. When I do my daily runs, I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I have two dogs that take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

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  1. Springer Nature, available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11252-010-0125-8
  2. ResearchGate, available here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322603199_Clutch_Size_and_Frequency_in_Florida_Box_Turtles_Terrapene_carolina_bauri_Implications_for_Conservation
  3. National Library of Medicine, available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960240/
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, available here: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=1240.62
  5. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, available here: https://www.dfw.state.or.us//conservationstrategy/docs/TurtleIDCardFRONT.pdf