How to find a turtle

Although many people like to lump turtles into one category; that of four-legged shelled creatures that love to retract their heads, they are in fact a very diverse bunch.

Chelonians, a better catchall phrase to use to describe these animals, can refer to three distinct types; turtles (primarily water-dwelling), tortoises (mostly land-dwelling) and terrapins (split time between land and water).

To make things easier, however, let’s start off with tortoises and their habitats.

Tortoise Habitats

Tortoises have been roaming our Earth for a very long time, much longer than the dinosaurs, believe it or not.

And you don’t last that long in nature without having a few special abilities and tricks up your sleeve. For example, their knobbed legs. Their legs allow them to dig into the earth to burrow and get away from the scorching sun.

These land-dwelling animals can be found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

There are dozens of varieties of tortoise in the world today, and some of them are used as pets.

When it comes to the distribution of tortoises, they can be found in hot desert climates, such as the desert tortoise, to the huge Galapagos turtle that resides in the famous Galapagos Islands, off the coast of South America.

Tortoises can often grow to immense sizes on islands as many times these islands do not have any natural predators that threaten them.

That said, one of the biggest threats for large tortoises today are humans. This is because humans hunt the creatures for food and medicine. Unfortunately, we also often destroy their natural environment through pollution, litter, and waste.

Where in a lake would you most likely find turtles?

Turtles in a lake spend most of their time underwater out of sight. However, they do spend a decent amount of time basking. Basking is when they climb onto a surface to get sunlight. Turtles in a lake usually bask on tops of floating logs and branches. These are the best places to find a turtle in a lake.

Sea Turtle Habitats

Much like their land-dwelling cousins, sea turtles can be found in nearly every ocean in the world.

If you were to look at a map of our earth, specifically the equator, and then take place your finger and thumb on either side of that equator by a few inches (past the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer), and then follow that band all around the map, you would have a rough estimate of the natural habitat of most sea-turtles.

Most types of sea turtles enjoy the balmy, warmer waters around the equator.

The leatherback turtle, however, will often venture into much colder waters in search of food, as far north as Alaska and as far south as Chile.

Some of the more famous species are:

  • Loggerheads
  • Leatherbacks
  • Ridleys
  • Green sea turtles.

If you ever happen to stroll along a beach in some exotic location and run into a sea turtle, it will in almost every instance be a female.

Only the females come out of the ocean, and they do so in order to lay their eggs. They will come ashore, dig a hole, lay their eggs and then leave again.

As most sea turtles prefer warmer waters, they will often times migrate and venture for hundreds of miles when the temperature drops or to search for food.

In fact, the loggerhead turtle will sometimes migrate to Baja California, in Mexico, all the way from Japan, just for food.

Freshwater Turtle and Terrapin Habitats

How to find a turtle

The most abundant of any type of chelonian (at more than 300 different types) are freshwater turtles. These animals can be found in a bunch of diverse environments.

Some of the more common species are:

  • Pond turtles
  • Musk turtles
  • Snapping turtles
  • Box turtles
  • Painted turtles
  • Cooters
  • Soft-shelled terrapins
  • Diamondback terrapins

Freshwater turtles are usually found in forests, bogs, marshes, swamps, wetlands, ponds and rivers. If you were to walk outside long enough in North America, Europe or Asia you would probably eventually come across them.

These animals spend half to the majority of their lives in water. They usually only come out to bask in the sunlight or to catch and feed prey.

The Red-Eared Slider, on the other hand, is the most common pet turtle in the world. These creatures are native to the southern United States and parts of Mexico.

They can be found in areas with warmer, calmer water such as ponds and lakes with rocks and other types of natural objects that would allow them to get out of the water to bask in the sun.

The Brazilian snake-necked turtle, however, can be found in southeastern Brazil. This snake-necked turtles prefer streams and rivers with sandy bottoms above an elevation of 600 m (2,000 ft).

As long as you aren’t walking around aimlessly in the Antarctic, chances are you can probably find some type of turtle in whatever region and environment you currently live in, even if the climate is rather cold.

Take the Russian tortoise for example. These turtles can be found in the cold, harsh, mountainous areas in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What Do You Do If You Find A Turtle In Your Backyard?

Let’s say you are strolling around your backyard one day (honestly this could be anywhere though) and you spot a wild turtle just hanging out.

What should you do?

The best thing you can do if you find a turtle in your backyard (or elsewhere) is to leave it be. If you feel the turtle will have difficulty exiting your yard or is in danger from pets or a nearby road, gently pick it up with a pair of gloves and set it back on its way.

It’s probably not a good idea to keep a wild turtle captive. I hold this view for a few reasons:

Finding and observing a freshwater turtle’s nest could lead to a lifetime of animal study and conservation efforts. Of the approximately 320 turtle species existing in the world, the United States has 57. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park reports that more than a third of the world’s freshwater species are threatened with extinction. In 2006, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) gave the alligator snapping turtle and all species of map turtles, which are native to the United States, international protection.

Find natural water sources that you can access, such as streams, rivers or lakes, using a map of your local area. You may have natural water sources in your own backyard. For example, in Houston many little bayous run through neighborhoods. These waterways are teeming with freshwater turtles.

Identify the species you are interested in through observation with your binoculars and comparisons with the field guide’s entries. Several species of freshwater turtles like to bask in the sun on river banks, partially submerged rocks or logs, or on mid-stream sand bars. Use your notebook to record markings, sizes and behaviors.

Check international, federal and state laws and lists to insure the turtles and their habitat are not endangered or protected. A phone call to your local zoo or natural history museum can connect you to a local turtle expert.

Observe the turtles at your selected site closely. Most turtles lay their eggs in high, sandy, open spaces during late spring and early summer. You may observe a female digging test holes with her hind feet prior to depositing her eggs. Turtles bury their eggs. An indication of nests could include disturbed sand or vegetation. Since survival of the eggs depends upon concealment, the best way to find a nest is through witnessing the actual egg-laying process. Most turtles leave the nesting area afterwards and do not return. Not all turtles nest close to their home waters. Snapping turtles can travel miles to find a sandy site located near a small stream, to lay their eggs.

Observe where baby turtles are coming from. A study done at Indiana University, as reported in 2005 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, suggests that female turtles prefer to return to their birth nest area to lay their own eggs. Observation of the babies may indicate a nesting area.


It is illegal to sell or distribute viable turtle eggs.

Several species of freshwater turtles are protected by international, federal and United States laws.

Use caution when approaching turtle habitats. Some turtles, including snapping turtles, can be dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings and other animals such as snakes or alligators.

Turtles may seem like low-maintenance pets, but those about to rush out and bring one home should consider that they require years (sometimes decades) of specialized care. Turtles can also transmit disease. Like all wildlife, these reptiles belong in their natural habitats.

Adopt, don’t shop

Small animals like turtles are often mistreated and forced into deplorable conditions when they’re bred for pet stores to sell — look for a local rescue first when you’re considering adopting a hamster, and skip the pet stores.

Turtles carry salmonella

Salmonella isn’t just a food-borne illness; turtles and other reptiles carry salmonella bacteria, which can be easily transmitted to people. A small turtle may seem harmless, giving parents a false sense that they’re a safe pet for children. But the disease risk is so great that selling small turtles is illegal in the United States. (See below.)

Salmonella usually gives people a few miserable days of fever and diarrhea, but some end up in the hospital with life-threatening complications. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children, senior citizens and those who have lowered natural resistance to disease due to pregnancy, cancer, chemotherapy, organ transplants, diabetes, liver problems or other diseases are most at risk.

Selling small turtles is illegal

Selling small turtles—with shells less than four inches long—was banned in 1975 to prevent the spread of salmonella. The CDC says this ban “likely remains the most effective public health action to prevent turtle-associated salmonellosis.” Some sellers try to skirt the law by using the exceptions allowed for legitimate scientific and educational purposes. But just saying the turtle will be used for education or offering the turtle for free with the sale of a tank does not make it legal. In addition, some states and localities prohibit possession of turtles. Call your local animal shelter or animal control to find out about turtle ownership laws. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces the ban on small turtle sales and has this advice for consumers: Don’t buy small turtles for pets.

Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of important information about caring for your pet, including training techniques and answers to frequently asked questions.

How to find a turtle

You don’t have to touch the turtle to get sick

You don’t have to touch the turtle to get sick, because salmonella can live on surfaces. A 2006 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that exposure to reptiles was one of the biggest risk factors in determining whether infants get salmonella. Infants aren’t likely to handle reptiles. They probably get infected indirectly, such as a parent touching a turtle or cleaning a turtle’s tank and then holding a child.

Turtles need a lifetime of specialized care

Turtles are often marketed as low-maintenance pets, but the truth is that they need special care and a lot of room to grow. Turtles will not survive in a small dish with a plastic palm tree. They need the right lighting, temperature and water filtration system. Countless pet turtles die from being kept in inadequate conditions. Turtles shipped by mail and other delivery services often die on the way.

If maintained properly, however, turtles can live for decades and grow to be a foot long. That’s a lifetime responsibility that many people are not prepared to meet. If you’ve done extensive research and are prepared for the commitment and responsibility of a turtle, we suggest you adopt one from a local animal shelter or rescue group, instead of creating more demand for turtles by purchasing one from a pet store. Visit the Shelter Pet Project to find your local shelter.

Turtles should never be let loose outdoors

If you get a turtle and then decide you can’t care for the animal, there are not many options. Rescue groups are inundated with calls to take them. People sometimes turn turtles loose, thinking they are “freeing” them, but it’s typically illegal to release turtles outdoors. Turtles let loose might die, and they might carry disease that kills other turtles. If they live, they can out-compete native species for food and habitat, threatening native biodiversity. The red-eared slider turtles common in the pet trade are native to only part of the United States, but are turning up where they are not native across the country and around the globe. They are now considered among the world’s 100 most invasive species.

To protect your health, the earth and the animals, please don’t get a turtle for a pet!

Sometimes the dry forest of Firewatch can get a bit lonely. This guide will show you where you can find a turtle in the wilderness to keep as a pet.

In Firewatch, turtles can be found in several locations throughout the wilderness. We have listed a few of these locations below if you wish to find a turtle pet of your own. However, keep in mind that a turtle will not always be present at the locations listed below. These are just some of the common locations that players have found their own turtle companions. Once you find a turtle, make sure to report it to Delilah and adopt it to bring it with you.

If you need a trail guide to help you through the forest, head over to our complete Firewatch Walkthrough and Guide for tips on how to navigate the Wyoming wilderness.

Thorofare Trail

The first location you can check for a turtle is along the Thorofare Trail. Starting at the Two Forks Lookout tower, head southeast along a trail leading away from the bottom of the tower stairs. Before the trail curves to the left, look for an opening in the fence leading to another trail heading east. Continue down this trail.

You will eventually pass by a fallen log that you can either hop over or walk around. At the end of the path, look for a turtle sitting on a rock just in front of the rockslide. Pick up the turtle, and report it to Delilah to give it a name. Make sure to press Hold to adopt the turtle as your new pet companion.

How to find a turtle How to find a turtle

Jonesy Lake

During Day 1, you will need to travel to Jonesy Lake to inspect some suspicious behavior. Consult your map and head west toward the lake along the lake trails. When you reach the lake, walk along its shoreline to the north. Keep an eye out for yellow supply cache 305. Open the cache and copy the map information to update your map. Continue a few feet north of the supply cache and look for a flat rock beneath a tree, close to the lake. With any luck, there may be a turtle sitting atop the rock for you to befriend.

How to find a turtle How to find a turtle

Beartooth Point

During Day 2, you must travel north toward Beartooth Point to inspect a communication line. The trails will diverge into several winding paths, as shown in the map image below. Use the nearby telephone line as your guide through the valley.

How to find a turtle How to find a turtle

Keep to the right as you follow the trails toward Beartooth Point. Before heading up to the utility line at the top of the hill, follow the path that curves around to the right to locate a supply cache box below the utility line. You can see the yellow cache from a distance across the valley. Open the cache to update your map, then turn around. If the odds are in your favor, a turtle will be resting on a raised rock a few steps away from the cache. Pick up the little fellow and adopt him as your own.

These are just a few of the turtle locations that players have confirmed. Keep in mind that turtles are not guaranteed at these locations, and you may even find a turtle pet in a completely different location. Note that if you find a turtle and decide not to take it with you, it may not be in the same location again when you return. It’s likely that you can only have one turtle pet, so don’t miss the opportunity to befriend one of these passive companions.

Eye color, claw length and shell shape are a few indicators

How to find a turtle

How to find a turtle

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WIN-Initiative / Neleman / Getty Images

It is often difficult to determine the gender of a pet turtle, especially if you did not purchase it from a breeder that hatched them from controlled temperature environments. The temperature during egg incubation is what determines whether an embryo will become a male or female; cooler incubation temperatures produce males and females develop in warmer temperatures.  

Thankfully there are some types of turtles that make it easier than others to distinguish a male from a female without knowing their incubation temperature. Red-eared sliders, for example, demonstrate sexual dimorphism and have distinct differences in size and appearance between the sexes.

Using Shell Size and Shape to Determine Gender

The size differences between most male and female turtles may not be obvious until the turtles reach sexual maturity (and the diet can also play a role in the size of a turtle). For male red-eared sliders, sexual maturity is about the time they reach 4 inches in length (and at about two to five years old). Females are sexually mature when they reach 6 to 7 inches in length (which may take five to seven years). Females will grow larger than males in red-eared sliders and many other turtle species, but the size difference between males and females varies by species. For example, in sulcata tortoises, the females can reach 100 pounds and the males can grow to 200 pounds or more. In sea turtles, the male and females can both grow to the same size. To reliably use shell size as a factor in determining the gender of a turtle, the turtle must have reached its adult size.

The bottom of a turtle’s shell (called the plastron) is also used as an indicator for determining gender in turtles. Male turtles have a concave (curved in) plastron while females have a flat one. These shapes enable male turtles to more easily mount a female during mating, and they give females more room to hold eggs internally.

Using Claw Length to Determine Gender

Female turtles often have claws on their front feet that are short and stubby. Males (and specifically red-eared sliders and other aquatic turtles) have much longer claws on their front feet than females. This is because males utilize their claws when they are attempting to woo females to breed. During mating, the males will also grab the female’s upper shells by using their long claws.

Using Tails to Determine Gender

The most common way to determine gender in a turtle is to look at the length of its tail.   Female turtles have short and skinny tails while males sport long, thick tails, with their vent (cloaca) positioned closer to the end of the tail when compared to a female. It is, of course, easiest to determine the gender of a turtle when looking at its tail length if you have multiple turtles of both sexes to compare.

Using Markings and Coloration to Determine Gender

All red-eared sliders have predominantly green bodies suffused with bright yellow streaking, which won't help distinguish males from females. But other color indicators may. The plastron is yellow with uneven, dark markings that are paired while the tail, legs, and head are green with thick yellow stripes. As red-eared sliders get older, many turn to a dark, almost black color and may obscure some or all of their yellow markings. This darker coloration is more common in male red-eared sliders.

Ornate box turtles are another kind of turtle that is sexually dimorphic. Mature male ornate box turtles have red eyes while female eyes are brown or yellow. The males also have greenish-colored heads with red or orange leg scales and females have brown heads with yellow leg scales.

How to find a turtle

Learn about baby sea turtles and how you can help them survive!

Watching a baby turtle (known as a “hatchling”) struggle out of the nest and make its way to the water is an emotional experience. Everything from footprints to driftwood and crabs are obstacles, though this gauntlet is important for its survival. Birds, raccoons, and fish are just a few of the predators these vulnerable creatures face; some experts say only one out of a thousand will survive to adulthood under natural conditions.

After an adult female sea turtle nests, she returns to the sea, leaving her nest and the eggs within it to develop on their own. The amount of time the egg takes to hatch varies among the different species and is influenced by environmental conditions such as the temperature of the sand. The hatchlings do not have sex chromosomes so their gender is determined by the temperature within the nest.

Baby Sea Turtle Facts

It’s estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

Sea turtle hatchlings eat a variety of prey including things like molluscs and crustaceans, hydrozoans, sargassum sea weed, jellyfish, and fish eggs. Unfortunately, hatchlings also mistake garbage and objects like tar balls as food and ingest them.

Leatherback and flatback hatchlings are significantly larger than other sea turtle species.

Leatherbacks are pelagic (open water) even as hatchlings and their larger size helps maintain their temperature.

Hatchlings use the natural light horizon, which is usually over the ocean, along with the white crests of the waves to reach the water when they emerge from the nest. Any other light sources such as beachfront lighting, street lights, light from cars, campfires etc. can lead hatchlings in the wrong direction, also known as disorientation.

Once out of the nest, hatchlings face many predators including ghost crabs, birds, raccoons, dogs, and fish.

Many scientists are concerned that rising global temperatures will result in warmer sand, causing more female than male baby turtles. Learn more information about the effects of global warming on sea turtles.

The Pivotal Temperature of a Baby Turtle

Whether hatchlings are male or female depends on the temperature where they are in the nest, known as the “pivotal temperature.” The temperature varies slightly among species, ranging between roughly 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius), at which embryos within a nest develop into a mix of males and females. Temperatures above this range produce females and colder temperatures produce males.

After 45 to 70 days (depending on the species), the hatchlings begin to pip, or break out of their eggs, using a small temporary tooth located on their snout called a caruncle. Once out of their eggs, they will remain in the nest for a number of days. During this time they will absorb their yolk, which is attached by an umbilical to their abdomen. This yolk will provide them the much-needed energy for their first few days while they make their way from the nest to offshore waters.


The hatchlings begin their climb out of the nest in a coordinated effort. Once near the surface, they will often remain there until the temperature of the sand cools, usually indicating nighttime, when they are less likely to be eaten by predators or overheat. Once the baby turtles emerge from the nest, they use cues to find the water including the slope of the beach, the white crests of the waves, and the natural light of the ocean horizon.

If the hatchlings successfully make it down the beach and reach the surf, they begin what is called a “swimming frenzy” which may last for several days and varies in intensity and duration among species. The swimming frenzy gets the hatchlings away from dangerous nearshore waters where predation is high. Once hatchlings enter the water, their “lost years” begin and their whereabouts will be unknown for as long as a decade. When they have reached approximately the size of a dinner plate, the juvenile turtles will return to coastal areas where they will forage and continue to mature.

This Minecraft tutorial explains all about turtles with screenshots and step-by-step instructions. Let’s learn about turtles in Minecraft.

Supported Platforms

Turtles are available in the following versions of Minecraft:

Platform Supported (Version*)
Java Edition (PC/Mac) Yes (1.13)
Pocket Edition (PE) Yes (1.5.0)
Xbox 360 Yes (TU69)
Xbox One Yes (1.5.0)
PS3 Yes (1.76)
PS4 Yes (1.76)
Wii U Yes (Patch 38)
Nintendo Switch Yes (1.5.0)
Windows 10 Edition Yes (1.5.0)
Education Edition Yes (1.7.0)

* The version that it was added or removed, if applicable.
NOTE: Pocket Edition (PE), Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows 10 Edition are now called Bedrock Edition. We will continue to show them individually for version history.


The following is a picture of what a turtle looks like in Minecraft:

How to find a turtle

Hostility Level Passive Mob
Health Points 30 health points
x 15
Where to Find Beach biome
Weapon None
Attack Method Will never attack you
Drops 2 Seagrass
Experience Points 1-3 experience points

Hostility Level (Passive)

A turtle is a passive mob. The term mob is short for mobile and is used to refer to all living, moving creatures in the game such as chickens, creepers, and turtles. Because a turtle is a passive mob, it will never attack you in the game (Creative or Survival mode).

Health Points

In Minecraft, a turtle has 15 hearts for health. This gives a turtle 30 health points (because 1 heart = 2 health points). To kill a turtle, you need to inflict 30 points of damage to the turtle.

Where to Find Turtles

In Minecraft, turtles can be found in the Beach biome.

How to find a turtle

While turtles are generally found swimming in the water, if you do find a turtle on land it will be moving very slowly and will probably be headed in the direction of the nearest body of water. Turtles can be persuaded to follow you if you hold seagrass.

If you are having trouble finding a turtle, you can summon a turtle using a cheat or you can use a spawn egg.


A turtle does not carry a weapon.

Attack Method

You are safe to walk near a turtle and it will not attack or cause you any damage. And if you attack a turtle, it will just turn itself around and slowly move away. It will not attack you back.


When you kill a turtle in Minecraft, it will drop seagrass.

Make sure you pick up any dropped items before they disappear. They are useful and should be kept in your inventory to be used later.

Experience Points

As you play the game, you will gain experience. The most common way to gain experience is by killing mobs. When a mob is killed you will see tiny green and yellow balls appear and move towards you.

These orbs represent experience points. When you kill a turtle, you will gain 1-3 experience points.

How to find a turtle

How to find a turtle

The location of Turtles The Turtle is a species of animal found in Red Dead Redemption 2.



Turtles are small, shelled reptiles found in the marshlands in Lemoyne. They have wet, scaly skin and their most prominent feature is the large, pointed shell on their backs.

Turtles are very easy to catch, taking only one arrow/bullet to kill them.




  • Green turtles are essentially invisible during normal gameplay at Guarma; they can be studied, but are not seen when the player looks to the ocean at Bahía de la Paz. Through the glitch to return to Guarma, however, green turtles can be physically found, although they cannot be skinned. They are also not added to the Compendium, but Arthur or John will make sketches on their journals.


How to find a turtle


How to find a turtle

30 gamerscore
Bronze bronze How to find a turtle

How to find a turtle

Bronze bronze How to find a turtle

A sea turtle’s life begins on the beach. Sea turtles nest, or lay eggs, throughout the summer. Nesting season usually lasts from May to September, reaching peak activity in late June and July. The female loggerhead comes ashore at night and drags her body far up the beach above the high tide line. Here she digs a hole about 18″ deep with her rear flippers and begins laying her eggs.

The nesting process is a complex and vulnerable time for a mother sea turtle. She carefully selects a nest site and may sometimes be frightened away by bright lights and beach activity. Predators such as foxes, raccoons, and ghost crabs abound on the beach and may devour her eggs even as they are deposited into the nest.

On average, 120 golf ball-sized, tough, leathery eggs are laid in the nest. The turtle covers her eggs completely with sand and returns to the sea.

How to find a turtle

Finding the Nest

How to find a turtle

Since most nesting occurs at night, scientists rely on using trails and tracks to identify where a nest has been laid and by what species. A track is an impression of a single flipper. Long lines of tracks showing an animal’s movement and behavior are called trails. Scientists measure the width of a sea turtle’s track, called the straddle, as well as note the crawl pattern of each species to tell what kind of turtle laid a nest.

Sometimes scientists get lucky and are out watching at night when the turtles come up to nest. Then they get video like this one. It’s red because they are using red light so they can see but they do not to disturb the turtle.