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Turtle, Tortoise, or Terrapin?

Turtle, Tortoise, or Terrapin? It all depends on where you live. In California, a "turtle" is a water turtle. A "tortoise" is a large land turtle. A "terrapin" is a Diamond Back Terrapin, and box turtles are called "box turtles." But leave the sun state, and naming changes. I Britain, a turtle is a box turtle, and a terrapin is a water turtle. In Canada. Now, according to the dictionary, all the words mean the same. So, what is the conclusion? If you write, don't just say you have "a turtle." I can't tell, whether you have a red-eared slider or a Galapagos tortoise. Tell me what the species is. If you don't know the species, describe your animal: how big, what color, what shapes, spots, stripes, ridges, and so forth. Here is the beginning of a list: -------------------------------- California: turtle==water turtle, tortoise==landdwelling turtle, terrapin==diamond back