From Shy To Show-Off: 40+ Times Turtles Stepped Out Of Their Shells For The Camera

By Aakash M

The typical pet options are often limited to cats and dogs due to their cuddliness. However, why not consider expanding your options to the rest of the animal kingdom? Our recommendation would be to get a turtle.

Turtles have a long lifespan, offering decades of pet companionship. They require minimal time and energy compared to dogs or cats, making them a suitable choice for those who don’t have the energy to keep up with a more demanding pet.

The bottom line is that turtles demand less attention and are very low-maintenance. Everyone has different preferences, but after seeing these pictures, we are convinced that turtles make excellent pets. These 45 photos showcase their cuteness, humor, and all-around appeal.

1. Dad’s best friend

Some parents love having pets, but there are those who are against it. As a child, convincing your parents to get a pet was challenging. But, if you managed to do that, you might have had a scenario like this one.

Image Credits: MadAL96/Reddit

Before this dad got so comfortable with his companion, he must have said that he wouldn’t look after it once it came home. But, now, look at him! He loves the little guy! He’s also showing him photos of other tortoises, although it looks like the tortoise isn’t paying attention.

2. Hello there!

To everybody who thinks turtles aren’t cute, say hi to Squirtle. He looks like a pretty fun-loving and happy-go-lucky turtle. We also appreciate how he has swum up the tank so that his head is out and he can look at the outside world.

Image Credits: no_kittens_here/Reddit

He still could have looked out the tank while staying inside, but maybe this is his way of greeting people. By the way, Squirtle is quite a great name. He just needs a pair of sunglasses before joining the Squirtle Squad.

3. Best friends

This pair is a match made in heaven. Meet Tami, a cuddly black Labrador Retriever. But those eyes aren’t the cutest thing in the picture. She is showing some love for her new, shelled friend, who is just as adorable!

Image Credits: @Franklinthetortoisee/Instagram

However, his buddy Franklin looks a little grumpy about being disturbed during his lunchtime. Maybe that explains the lettuce on the tortoise’s nose. But the owner couldn’t let mealtime get in the way of a picture-perfect moment. These two look like a wholesome and photogenic pair!

4. A whole new breed

This breed is called the Gaming tortoise. Just kidding! That’s a tortoise that’s ready to play video games with its human. Sadly, this little guy isn’t much bigger than the joystick and might have a bit of trouble reaching all the buttons.

Image Credits: smallsamuraix/Reddit

Since that is the case, we wonder how it’s going to play on the Xbox. The tortoise is beautiful and pretty playful, from the looks of it. A game night with your pets must be so much fun. Let’s just hope they’re not a sore loser.

5. He’s on the hunt

Is he though? Or is he looking for food? What if he’s protecting his house from strangers and dangers? Whatever the tortoise is doing, he looks adorable. The little guy is walking around like he owns the place. Maybe he does…

Image Credits: fourstringtu/Reddit

Now there’s a man with a plan. That tortoise looks motivated and determined on a whole new level. We must also say that he’s a pretty flashy mover and a very photogenic creature. If that’s the tortoise’s daily prowl, we want to see him every day.

6. Sort of a camouflage

Is it just us, or are the German Shepherd and the little tortoise color coordinated? They seem to have somewhat similar colors, don’t you think? Both of them have some incredible posing skills, and they both look to have got on pretty well with each other.

Image Credits: dangol10/Reddit

From the looks of it, the tortoise hitched a ride on the dog for a stroll in the forest. And from the dog’s POV, it seems to be wearing a tiny hat. Dogs make such good friends with almost any other animal.

7. Dear one

Let’s just take a moment to look at this photo and cherish it. This relatively wholesome photo is of Olive the turtle, who seems to be enjoying the strawberry in this picture, perhaps, devouring and savoring it. What an adorable creature!

Image Credits: TheOneNamedZoe/Reddit

Sadly, Olive is no longer with us. The tortoise was saved from the street almost fifteen years before this picture was taken, but even old age catches up with our reptilian buddies. We’re glad that the human has so many loving memories to remember him by. Rest in peace, Olive.

8. You have better options

For those of you who are wondering what’s happening in the picture below, we promise there’s a perfectly good explanation. This turtle is undergoing training to become a flower girl at its human’s wedding. What do you think? Will it end well?

Image Credits: bobie_corwen/Reddit

If you ask us, it’s a pretty cute idea, but how is the turtle supposed to scatter the flowers? That’s far-fetched, but what else is it supposed to do with the one flower on its back. The ceremony might take a while; the turtle certainly won’t be running down the aisle.

9. Recreating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Man, the film, the series, the comic book, and everything else about it was so amazing! Thanks to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, many of our childhoods were so much better. This photo brings back some old memories, hence the headline.

Image Credits: Mr_Summerbird/Reddit

This Redditor’s father keeps turtles, so they decided to train them. How cool would it look if their personal bodyguards were the turtles! We certainly wouldn’t want to mess around with those fierce warriors. After all, they’re pretty well protected in their armored shells.

10. The mandatory morning stretch

We all like to give our bodies a good stretch after waking up, right? It does feel pretty good as well. Now, have you ever gone “Awwwwwwwww, so cute!” after looking at a baby stretching those tiny arms and legs just after waking up?

Image Credits: Doofus_is_the_Name/Reddit

You do, right? Well, here is the tortoise version of the same thing that got the same reaction out of us. Just look at that little Sulcata tortoise thing stretching its miniature feet! That’s quite the environment there. It must be pretty happy.

11. The night owl and the early bird

Meet Bonnie and Clyde, two turtles with completely different morning personalities. Half of us can relate with Bonnie, and the other half of us are with Clyde. Both turtles are equally cute, though. Who do you connect with? Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Image Credits: jimreyes512/Reddit

It’s funny how close they are in the aquarium, and you can see the contrast between them. One of these turtles is asleep, while one is already up and ready to conquer the day. We hope nobody wakes up the night owl on the left.

12. Friendly neighborhood tortoise

Is this tortoise going shopping? We must say that it does look like a place we’d want to go to. This little buddy is the pet of a local hardware store owner, and he is often found wandering around at early hours. Maybe he’s doing morning inspections.

Image Credits: millerswiller/Reddit

That shop might be getting many customers because of the lovely pet roaming around the store in the morning. If we were there, we would have indeed visited the store on a daily basis, even if there wasn’t anything to buy!

13. Island in the sun

We’re not sure if this scene was posed or just a candid moment captured at a local pond. Hopefully, it’s the latter. After all, how often do you see a tiny turtle floating around on a slice of bread? We certainly never have.

Image Credits: Thunderbirds7/Reddit

If it’s hungry, the turtle can have some lovely floating breakfasts, like the ones you have in lavish hotels. We just hope that the ducks don’t get hungry, too. Or if they do, they’ll wait for the turtle to finish its ride first.

14. He’s old, but not so old

Check out this big fella going for a stroll on a sunny day. Can you try guessing the age of this tortoise? The headline is a hint for you. Here’s another: this tortoise belongs to the uncle of the person who posted this image.

Image Credits: saucy_lemur/Reddit

The uncle inherited this 56-year-old tortoise from the Redditor’s grandparents. As we said, it’s old but not that old, especially compared to some of its ancient buddies in the tortoise world. We wouldn’t be surprised if he was passed down to the next generation.

15. Beware and behold

Meet Stormageddon (not to be confused with Alfie Owens), an African Side-neck turtle. This cute creature was rescued from rather harsh living conditions at just two years old. She didn’t even know how to swim! But judging by that smile, she’s thankful for the person who saved her one year ago.

Image Credits: champanne/Reddit

With a lot of love and devotion, the owner nursed the turtle back to health. She now eats and swims like the beauty she is. When you look at her, you won’t be able to believe that this turtle was so sick back then. What a champion recovery!

16. Smile!

How can we talk about reptiles without talking about the late great crocodile hunter Steve Irwin! This image is of his 18-year-old son Robert Irwin, who’s posing with a tortoise that goes by the name of Igloo. The caption says it all!

Image Credits: @RobertIrwin/Twitter

According to his Twitter post, Igloo is Robert’s self-isolation buddy. It also looks like they’re having a great time. Doesn’t Robert look like Steve’s identical twin? We love how he’s carrying his father’s legacy and bringing attention to wildlife through his excellent photographic skills.

17. Centurion

If you ever wanted to see what an ancient tortoise looks like, here’s your opportunity. It is weird to imagine that this tortoise has lived through some of the most notable historic events in recent history! Yet, the old guy manages to look so cute.

Image Credits: Mono_420/Reddit

The caption of this picture should be: Felt cute might delete later! The face of this tortoise shows that it has been through a lot over its 100 years, and it has some interesting experiences. We would love to hear what tales it has to tell, if only that were possible.

18. A friendship to die for

This friendship is rather unusual and rare, but it is no less wholesome. These two beautiful animals are often found following each other around the Wildlife Friends Foundation Rescue Center in Thailand. They share meals, rest together and do everything that best friends do.

Image Credits:

We can’t seem to get enough of how well these two take care of each other, and we hope that they stay friends forever. Here’s something extra special about this friendship: the tortoise is Leonardo, an African spur-thighed tortoise, and Simon, a three-legged cow.

19. Lil raptors

We have seen so many species of turtles and tortoises, but perhaps, the Snapping turtles are the most fascinating ones we have ever come across. These turtles look like tiny dinosaurs, but they aren’t just cute. These turtles are dangerously ferocious.

Image Credits: Brick_in_the_dbol/Reddit

They don’t wander around wreaking havoc as they are relatively calm animals. At least, not when they’re left undisturbed. These creatures won’t hesitate to bite you if provoked; they have the potential to bite off a human body part. Beware!

20. One stubborn turtle

Before we begin, we need to introduce this turtle because she has a lovely name. She’s called Jennifer Slopez! Slopez has a particular problem. She has a never-ending determination to go downstairs, and her decision caused her to be stuck like this.

Image Credits: DefnitelyNot203Eels/Reddit

Sadly, she doesn’t respond to verbal commands like yes, no, sit, stop, and so on. Then again, we wonder if anyone has trained their turtle like that. The gates that you’re seeing in this image were put for safety. We feel sad for JSlo.

21. Cutest in the world

Aren’t baby tortoises the cutest? We haven’t been able to find another photo that matches the cuteness level of the one below. Is this tortoise yawning, or is it so angry that it’s about to bite? Or maybe it’s just enjoying the veggies it seems to have taken a bite out of.

Image Credits: Dummy_Thicc_Shadow/Reddit

The shell on that cutie is also so beautiful. It will definitely bloom and make it look even more beautiful when this baby tortoise becomes an adult, especially if it keeps eating its veggies. We honestly can’t wait to see a before and after photo!

22. A strange cuddle partner

Who could’ve imagined that tortoises would make such a good cuddle partner? We didn’t know about this one, but seeing is believing! The turtle fits perfectly in the puppy pile. It may not be furry, but it’s definitely adorable. This story belongs on the Animal Planet show Too Cute.

Image Credits: @Turtles_of_inst/Instagram

Puppies are among the best cuddle partners, but this tortoise is giving them some tough competition here. Meet Crouton, and a tortoise from the non-profit organization Rocky Ridge Refuge. It looks like Crouton loves snuggling with these pups…and that the feeling is mutual!

23. Fancy some tummy rubs?

Or should we call it tummy brushes because giving this little guy a tummy rub would have been pretty tricky? Since this turtle is being brushed on the tummy, it has a pretty broad smile on its face, and we love it!

Image Credits: ShopandGuide/Imgur

Turtles have pretty sensitive shells, so the brush must be doing a great job. After looking at this photo, who wouldn’t want to have a pet turtle now! The big question is how did the human figure out that the turtle likes being brushed in that spot?

24. Shelfie time!

This tortoise randomly came to this lady while she was on the beach. Not only that, but the tortoise also volunteered to take a selfie with the woman. Although some tortoises are scared, most of them love being petted on their heads and necks.

Image Credits: Delosisland/Imgur

If the tortoise could see this pic, it would’ve asked to delete it because, although it looks cute, it has something out of its mouth. We still think it looks adorable, though. What a gift of nature this image is!

25. Turtles from Hollywood

Look who we have here! It’s Rocky himself, and guess what? These turtles know who he is, too. They are striking a pose for a selfie with Sylvester Stallone. The names of these turtles are Cuff and Link. Cufflinks, get it?

Image Credits: @officiallystallone/Instagram

Out of so many turtles, these are the first celebrity turtles we are seeing. These guys were in the movie Rocky! Not only that, but the turtles also starred in the recent movie Creed 2. These turtles are in their late 40s. Sylvester Stallone has taken great care of these creatures.

26. It looks like we have a situation here

This tortoise was found lying on its back. From the looks of the crime scene here, it looks like the tortoise pooped, and the dirt got stuck on his foot. Poor little guy. It also looks like the tortoise tried to run around to get it off. 

Image Credits: Pigglepoo/Reddit

Well, he ran around a lot in circles, but it seems like he still couldn’t get it off. Unfortunately, he tripped. In fact, he flipped over. That sounds like a really crappy day for the tortoise (literally). We hope his human gets him cleaned up.

27. A special one

This one is worth remembering. Behold, the Fernandina tortoise. These beauties were discovered and declared extinct that same year, all the way back in 1906. But, they were rediscovered in a recent expedition. This beautiful tortoise was hiding in the brush of a volcano.

Image Credits: blabla123455/Reddit

After this tortoise was spotted, it didn’t take much time to identify her since her shell and face made it an easy task. That’s such a great discovery, and the tortoise is so gorgeous! We’d also like to thank the people on the expedition for never giving up!

28. Just another day in Tokyo

Yes, you are looking at a man taking a huge but cute pet tortoise for a walk on the streets of Tokyo. Also, the tortoise is wearing a pretty dress. Where is the leash, though? Maybe there’s no leash law for reptiles.

Image Credits: @secorisou/Twitter

We’d love to know the tortoise’s age and for how long the man has been with her. The two seem inseparable. And did you notice that the guy’s bag matches with the tortoise’s dress in the first pic? What a cute pair!

29. Escape artist

Although tortoises must be going through a tough time when they get flipped over, they still look clumsily cute! This tortoise is the companion of the photographer’s neighbor…and it doesn’t look happy to be wheeled around. Can you guess how much it weighs?

Image Credits: sweetsugr25/Reddit

It weighs a whopping 250 pounds! This tortoise had escaped from the house, and it walked almost a street away. Because it is so heavy, you can’t lift it up and walk around unless you are The Hulk. The method in the picture is the only way to bring him home.

30. He’s a teen now

Meet Harvey, who just turned thirteen. Happy Birthday, Harvey! Look how happy he looks in this picture. We must say he has a pretty cute hat going on, and he is also carrying it out quite effortlessly. He’s now entering a somewhat rebellious age of his life.

Image Credits: skaboodles/Imgur

Harvey must have cut a leafy cake, and hopefully he received some gifts! We just have one question for Harvey’s parents: how did you manage to tie the hat on the little guy? Great job on that, though, and we wonder how this birthday party went.

31. Nom-nom

Here’s the thing about turtles. Their color vision is outstanding. Although they are pretty short-sighted in the air, they can see clearly underwater. While we can see only certain shades of red, like crimson or scarlet, that’s not the case with these creatures.

Image Credits: CaroltrNelson/Reddit

Turtles have the ability to see more shades of red, which is actually a pretty rare ability. According to many scientists, turtles and birds are the only land animals that still have this gene. Maybe that’s why this turtle mistook blue pants for blueberries and took a bite.

32. Brother from another mother

Just look at the unity between these two animals. It’s almost like the cat and the turtle grew up together, which might be possible. There’s a good lesson to be learned from this picture of a cat with its turtle buddy.

Image Credits: @turtles_of_inst/Instagram

The lesson is always to be friends with those who eat the exact opposite of what you eat. That way, you’ll always be able to coexist happily and also peacefully share meals with each other, without any ups and downs.

33. Bundle of joy

Meet Fred. He’s 21, which means that he is of legal drinking age, haha! He lives in Petland, which is in Orlando, Florida. Doesn’t he look cute wandering the store and wishing everyone Happy Holidays? Petland must be getting a lot of visits because of their in-house cute tortoise!

Image Credits: jasonleedesigns/Reddit

The duct tape won’t hurt Fred because tortoises shed the scutes off their shells, thus, removing residual adhesives. Also, it attaches the balloon so that the store can track Fred in the store and also ensure that nobody steals him. What a clever way to keep tabs on their reptilian friend.

34. Welcome to the world!

Hats off to this person for his exceptional photography skills. This little baby is just one day old, and it looks so adorable! It is just as big as the center of the palm of the human holding it. What a sweet angel!

Image Credits: spongespatula/Reddit

The little tortoise looks like it’s shouting or it’s about to exclaim about something, but in reality, this photo was taken while the baby was yawning. Although tortoises are easy pets, baby tortoises need a lot of extra care and protection from obstacles and dangers.

35. Generation gap

The Galapagos tortoise is a magnificent but endangered species. These animals live over 100 years, but they take about 40 years to reach their full size. As their name suggests, these tortoises are native to seven of the Galapagos islands.

Image Credits: HarisMih/Reddit

In the picture, you are looking at an infant, who could be very, very young, as compared to the old guy behind it. From the face of the ancient tortoise, it looks like it is at least a hundred years old. There’s a huge generation gap between these two.

36. #Fabulous

Girls look really pretty wearing beach crowns, but beware, men can also rock those bad boys. For example, take a look at this little boy. Doesn’t he look fabulous in this beach crown! It seems like this baby turtle is about to go to Coachella.

Image Credits: @cityturtles/Instagram

The size of that beach crown must be so tiny, considering the circumference of the turtle’s head. All in all, great photography, superb posing, and fabulous attire! He would’ve looked even more badass had he worn something on the shell, like this one below.

37. Grandmotherly love

This photo has a great backstory. It’s a universal truth that grandmothers show unconditional love, and they make sure that you always eat a lot. This person’s grandmother didn’t want him to get a tortoise for himself, yet, he didn’t listen to that and got one anyway.

Image Credits: banalez/Reddit

One day when the guy came home, he found his tortoise wearing a watermelon sweater. That watermelon sweater is so cool, and it suits the tortoise. When your grandmother makes something like this for you, you can’t refuse it. We certainly wouldn’t with something that fabulous!

38. Family dinner

That’s how we should all eat. At the table, with the whole family. No phones, no distractions, only good and productive conversations. Perhaps there is a lot to learn from these tortoises, other than just taking it slow and steady.

Image Credits: MooMooCow789/Reddit

We are glad that the photographer could capture this precious moment. After all, what’s better than a meal shared with loved ones? This family of tortoises enjoying breakfast is just what you’d want to see if you’re having a bad day.

39. A shell-shocking fact

Get ready to have your minds blown. Just like people, animals can be albino, too. As with most albinism, albino turtles are very rare. According to research, it’s estimated that one in every 100,000 hatchlings of a turtle has this condition.

Image Credits: skiradev/Reddit

Imagine how rare these turtles are and how lucky this man is to be holding two such rare beauties in his hand. Albino turtles are so unique and gorgeous that they cause quite the stir on the Internet when they appear.

40. Pocket pet

In the beginning, we talked about how turtles make for great pets because they’re easygoing and low maintenance, at least compared to our four-legged friends. But what if we told you that they’re also portable? This picture is all the proof we need.

Image Credits: @turtles_of_inst/Instagram

You might say that leashes do the same thing, but what if you don’t want to use a leash? Fitting your pet in a pocket is certainly more convenient. Check out this turtle that’s enjoying a seat in its human’s pocket. The view from that height must be excellent.

41. Older than the trees

Say hi to Jonathan, who is, as of this moment, almost 190 years old. He is a record-breaker because, as of a few days ago, Jonathan has become the oldest living land animal of all time. The photo on the left was taken in 1886!

Image Credits: chickflickckips/Reddit

The photo on the right was taken relatively recently. We must say this guy looks pretty young for an almost 200-year old tortoise. Jonathan is a Seychelles giant tortoise who resides on the tropical island of Saint Helena. He’s a true wonder of this world.

42. Tank with little tanks

The giant tortoise looks angry, as if it’s about to attack somebody and the little tortoises on its back are going to assist in the attack. The alignment of the little tortoises on the back of the big one is so precise we can’t stop staring at it.

Image Credits: @sulcata_ksa/ Instagram

These are Sulcata tortoises, and surprisingly, the Sulcata tortoise is the world’s third-largest tortoise species. So, one day, the babies on the back of the elder tortoise will be giants, maybe even bigger than the one you see in the picture.

43. Congratulations!

Here is another birthday turtle, but this one is particularly special since this photo is of their first birthday! We all know how special first birthdays are. In fact, the first anniversary, or the first of anything, is considered extra special.

Image Credits: Sketch2005/Reddit

This birthday boy is a common mud turtle who goes by the name of Elios. We wish Elios a comfortable life with the best years to come. The human of this turtle already said that Elios is growing at a pretty fast rate!

44. Cool as anything

The first thing that this turtle’s human needs to do is to take the turtle to a vet because it is so sick. Get it? After all, that is one sick skateboarder! Also, we should point out that the turtle is really very tiny.

Image Credits: FaygoLyric/Reddit

We know it’s small because it’s resting on a miniature skateboard that’s barely a few inches long. This turtle is so cool that it must be might be dropping the room temperature by 10 degrees wherever it goes. Also, it’d still be equally lit without the wheels!