Turtle on Pink Background

Are Turtles Amphibians? No, turtles are not amphibians; they are reptiles. Turtles belong to the class Reptilia, while amphibians belong to the class Amphibia.

This distinction is crucial for understanding their biology and care requirements.

Understanding Turtles: Reptiles, Not Amphibians

Turtles are fascinating creatures often confused with amphibians due to their semi-aquatic lifestyles. However, several key differences set them apart from amphibians.

Characteristics of Reptiles

Reptiles, including turtles, have the following characteristics:

  • Dry, Scaly Skin: Unlike amphibians, reptiles have dry, scaly skin that prevents water loss.
  • Lungs for Breathing: Reptiles breathe air through lungs, whereas many amphibians can also absorb oxygen through their skin.
  • Eggs with Hard Shells: Reptile eggs have a leathery or hard shell, providing more protection than the gelatinous eggs of amphibians.

Characteristics of Amphibians

Amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders, possess distinct traits:

  • Moist, Permeable Skin: Amphibians have moist skin that can absorb water and oxygen.
  • Dual Life Cycle: They typically have a two-stage life cycle, starting as aquatic larvae and transforming into terrestrial adults.
  • Gelatinous Eggs: Their eggs are usually laid in water and lack the protective shell seen in reptile eggs.

For more insights about Are Turtles Reptiles , explore our extensive resources and guides.

Differences in Habitat and Lifestyle

While both turtles and amphibians can live in or near water, their habitats and lifestyles differ significantly.

Turtles include both semi-aquatic species, like sea turtles, and more terrestrial species, like tortoises, and they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature due to being ectothermic.

Amphibians, on the other hand, begin life in an aquatic larval stage and undergo metamorphosis to become terrestrial or semi-aquatic adults, and their permeable skin makes them highly sensitive to pollution, often serving as indicators of environmental health.

Learn more about what turtles eat.

For a detailed comparison of reptiles and amphibians habitats and lifestyle, refer to Wikipedia.

Pet Care: Turtles vs. Amphibians

Turtles on a log in a pond with water

Understanding the differences between reptiles and amphibians is essential for proper pet care.

Turtles are typically omnivorous, needing a balanced diet of animal protein and plant matter, and require a well-maintained habitat with water for aquatic species and dry land for basking.

Amphibians often need live food, such as insects and small invertebrates, and require moist environments with access to water, as they rely on their skin for hydration and respiration.

For a detailed comparison of reptiles and amphibians, refer to Wikipedia and Wikipedia.


Turtles are reptiles, not amphibians.

Understanding this distinction is crucial for their proper care and appreciation.

By recognizing the unique characteristics and needs of turtles, you can provide the best possible environment for these fascinating creatures.

For more insights on turtle care and turtle wellness, explore our extensive resources and guides.