animal with shell

Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonia or Testudines, characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield.

See also: Turtles all the way down


  • The turtle obviously had no sense of proportion; it differed so widely from myself that I could not comprehend it; and as this word occurred to me, it occurred also that until my body comprehended its body in a physical material sense, neither would my mind be able to comprehend its mind with any thoroughness. For unity of mind can only be consummated by unity of body; everything, therefore, must be in some respects both knave and fool to all that which has not eaten it, or by which it has not been eaten. As long as the turtle was in the window and I in the street outside, there was no chance of our comprehending one another.
    Nevertheless, I knew that I could get it to agree with me if I could so effectually buttonhole and fasten on to it as to eat it. Most men have an easy method with turtle soup, and I had no misgiving but that if I could bring my first premise to bear I should prove the better reasoner. My difficulty lay in this initial process, for I had not with me the argument that would alone compel Mr. Sweeting to think that I ought to be allowed to convert the turtles — I mean I had no money in my pocket. No missionary enterprise can be carried on without any money at all, but even so small a sum as half a crown would, I suppose, have enabled me to bring the turtle partly round, and with many half-crowns I could in time no doubt convert the lot, for the turtle needs must go where the money drives. If, as is alleged, the world stands on a turtle, the turtle stands on money. No money no turtle. As for money, that stands on opinion, credit, trust, faith — things that, though highly material in connection with money, are still of immaterial essence.
    • Samuel Butler, Ramblings In Cheapside, first published in Universal Review (December 1890).
  • Slugs have ridden their contempt for defensive armour as much to death as the turtles their pursuit of it. They have hardly more than skin enough to hold themselves together; they court death every time they cross the road. Yet death comes not to them more than to the turtle, whose defences are so great that there is little left inside to be defended. Moreover, the slugs fare best in the long run, for turtles are dying out, while slugs are not, and there must be millions of slugs all over the world over for every single turtle.
    • Samuel Butler, Ramblings In Cheapside, first published in Universal Review (December 1890).
  • Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.
    • Alex Haley, as quoted in A Touch of Class (2003) by Carol Vanderheyden, p. 60.
  • "Good well-dress'd turtle beats them hollow,—
    It almost makes me wish, I vow,
    To have two stomachs, like a cow!"
    And lo! as with the cud, an inward thrill
    Upheaved his waistcoat and disturb'd his frill,
    His mouth was oozing, and he work'd his jaw—
    "I almost think that I could eat one raw."
  • The turtle trapped 'twixt plated decks
    Doth practically conceal its sex
    I think it clever of the turtle
    In such a fix to be so fertile.
    • Ogden Nash, "The Turtle", Many Long Years Ago (1945).
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: