Tortoises are turtles, but
Not all turtles are tortoises
Does this seem a puzzlement?
To most of us, of course it is!
Both belong to the Testiduines order
Their ribs and spines fused to their shells
They’re both cold-blooded, beaks for teeth
Lay eggs aground in dug-out wells
But tortoise shells are round and domed
While turtles are quite water-dynamic
Turtles would swim and dive all day
A tortoise would swing on land in a hammock
Tortoises live on land year-round
With water they’ll drink and sometimes bathe
While turtles they spend their time mostly wet
In the water they bob and swim amongst waves
If you encounter a shelled creature close
Look at its back legs and check out its toes
The tortoise has hind legs that are “elephantine”
A turtle’s feet webbed, with flippers or claws
How fun to uncover the wonders of nature
Learning new things keeps our minds nice and fertile
And now after reading this poem together
We know how to tell what’s a tortoise or turtle!!