Bone up on these facts about turtle defense

A turtle can pull its head, feet, and tail inside its ribs (its shell). It would be pretty hard for a human to do that!

testudoIn ancient times, Roman soldiers marched in "turtle formation" (called "testudo") with the shield of each warrior touching the one next to him. They looked like the scales or scutes of a turtle shell.

plastronWhen fencers practice their sword play, they wear a small padded vest that just covers the chest, called, you guessed it, a plastron.

In the 1700's, David Bushnell invented a diving bell, dubbed the "Turtle," that allowed him to sink beneath the waves. The small, round sub that protected him from the ocean looked more like a turtle's egg than a turtle's shell.

A loggerhead turtle nesting site in North Carolina is next to a U.S. Marine Corps training center, Camp LeJeune. During nesting season, the Marines patrol the beach to protect the mothers as they lay their eggs above the high tide line. Talk about good defense!

  • What animal has both a shell and a carapace? (turtle)
  • What animals have only a carapace? (crabs, lobsters)
  • Can turtles shed their carapace like lobsters can? (no)