Turtles and tortoises were the animals on display at the April, Zoo Animals Live program. Dennis, from the Topeka Zoo, points out that turtles live in the water and tortoises live on land. So the Box Turtle that you see in Kansas is actually a tortoise and lives on land.
The Indian Star Tortoise is native to India and Sri Lanka. It lives in the dry areas and scrub forest. It is also popular in the exotic pet trade.
The Red-eared slider is a semi aquatic turtle. They are the most popular pet turtle in the US. Red-eares sliders are native to the southern United States. These turtles are omnivores which means they eat a variety of animals and plants.
The Gopher Tortoise originated in North American 60 million years ago. This makes them one of the oldest living species in the southern United States. They dig burrows in dry habitats which allows other animals to live in the vacated burrows. The tortoises are around 12″ long and weigh about 29 lbs.
The African Spur-Thigh Tortoise lives in the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in North Africa. They are the 3rd largest species of tortoise in the world. They dig burrows around 30″ in depth and their tunnel may extend 10′ or more. Adults usually measure 18″ in length and weigh between 70-100 lbs. Their lifespan is 30-50 years.