Turtles live in or near the water and have adapted to swim by holding their breath underwater. Tortoises live primarily in arid regions, built for storing their own water supply and walking on sandy ground.
Turtles are omnivorous animal whereas tortoises are herbivorous animal. Therefore, turtles eat both plant and fish but tortoises eat only plants, leaves and shrubs.
Turtle are mostly found in Asia, Africa and America whereas tortoises are mostly found in Africa and America.
The main difference is based on physiology. Tortoises are terrestrial (land dwelling) and possess thick legs and toes and require water for drinking only.
"Terrapin" is merely a synonym for "Turtle" and was derived from the North American Indian word "Terrapene".
In Australia, there are no indigenous tortoises.
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