What is a Group of Turtles Called?

Turtles, with their distinctive shells and slow, deliberate movements, are intriguing creatures found in different parts of the world. These reptiles belong to the order Testudines and have existed for millions of years. As social animals, turtles often gather in groups, and each of these gatherings has a specific collective noun associated with it. Let’s delve deeper into the world of turtles and discover what these collective nouns are.

Taxonomy of Turtles

Before we explore the collective nouns for turtles, it is essential to understand their taxonomy. Turtles are classified under the order Testudines, which includes several families, such as Chelydridae, Emydidae, and Testudinidae, among others. These families encompass a wide range of turtle species found in different habitats across the globe.

Collective Nouns for Turtles

When a group of turtles comes together, it is referred to by various collective nouns. These nouns not only provide a descriptive term for the group but also add to the richness of the English language. Some of the commonly used collective nouns for turtles include:

1. Bale

A “bale” of turtles is a term often used to describe a group of turtles swimming together in the water. It signifies the collective movement and unity observed when turtles navigate their aquatic habitats.

2. Nest

When female turtles gather to lay their eggs in a shared location, it is called a “nest” of turtles. This phenomenon is particularly significant for species that exhibit communal nesting behaviors, such as the olive ridley turtles.

3. Turnout

A “turnout” of turtles refers to a group of turtles that have come ashore simultaneously. This collective noun is commonly used when turtles emerge from the water to bask in the sun or lay their eggs.

4. Dole

The term “dole” is often used to describe a group of turtles basking together on a log or a sunlit area. It highlights the peaceful and relaxed nature of these gatherings, where turtles share a common space for thermoregulation.

Popular Collective Nouns for Turtles

In addition to the specific collective nouns mentioned above, there are several other popular terms used to describe groups of turtles:

1. Army

An “army” of turtles is a collective noun that signifies the movement of turtles, often in a slow and deliberate manner. This term is particularly associated with the snapping turtle species.

2. Nesting

When turtles gather in large numbers for the purpose of nesting, they are referred to as a “nesting” of turtles. This collective noun emphasizes the reproductive behavior of turtles and their need for a suitable environment to lay their eggs.

3. Creep

A “creep” of turtles is a term used to describe a group of turtles moving together, often in a cautious and stealthy manner. The word “creep” aptly captures the slow and deliberate movements of turtles as they explore their surroundings or search for food.

4. Float

When turtles gather on the surface of water, forming a visible group, they are known as a “float” of turtles. This collective noun highlights their buoyant nature and the ability to stay afloat effortlessly.

5. Bask

A “bask” of turtles refers to a group of turtles sunbathing or basking in the warmth of the sun. This collective noun emphasizes the behavior of turtles as they seek out sunny spots to regulate their body temperature.

Regional Names for Groups of Turtles

In different regions around the world, there are unique names used to describe gatherings of turtles. These regional collective nouns add a cultural touch to the understanding of turtles and their social behaviors:

1. Nestle

In certain parts of the United Kingdom, a group of turtles is referred to as a “nestle.” This term evokes a sense of coziness and warmth, reflecting the turtles’ affinity for huddling together.

2. Paddle

In some coastal areas, particularly in North America, a gathering of turtles is known as a “paddle.” This term draws a connection between the movement of turtles in water and the rhythmic strokes made by paddles in a canoe.

3. Baley

Derived from the Old Norse word “boli,” a “baley” is the name given to a group of turtles in Iceland. This unique collective noun showcases the linguistic diversity associated with turtles.

You may also like: What is a Group of Jellyfish Called?

Interesting Facts About Turtles

Turtles have captivated the attention of researchers and nature enthusiasts for centuries. Here are some intriguing facts about turtles that highlight their remarkable characteristics and behaviors:

  1. Turtles have been on Earth for over 200 million years, making them one of the oldest reptile groups.
  2. Some turtle species can live for over 100 years, with the oldest recorded individual being a radiated tortoise that lived to be 188 years old.
  3. Turtles have a unique ability to retract their heads, legs, and tails into their shells for protection.
  4. Different turtle species exhibit various nesting behaviors, from solitary nesters to massive synchronized nesting events involving thousands of turtles.
  5. Many turtles are excellent swimmers and have streamlined shells and webbed feet that aid in their aquatic movements.
  6. Some turtles, such as the leatherback sea turtle, undertake long-distance migrations, traveling thousands of miles between feeding and nesting grounds.
  7. Turtles play essential roles in ecosystems as seed dispersers, grazers, and predators of aquatic organisms.
  8. The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by the incubation temperature, with higher temperatures producing more females and lower temperatures producing more males.


Are all turtles social animals?

While turtles are not inherently social animals, certain species do exhibit social behaviors, especially during nesting or basking activities.

Can turtles communicate with each other?

Turtles primarily rely on visual cues and body language to communicate with each other. They may use gestures or movements to establish dominance or attract mates.

Do turtles travel in groups?

Some turtle species, particularly aquatic ones


Turtles, with their ancient lineage and intriguing behaviors, continue to fascinate and inspire curiosity. From the collective nouns that describe their gatherings to their diverse nesting habits, turtles offer a glimpse into the intricate world of nature. So, the next time you spot a group of turtles, remember the unique collective noun associated with them and appreciate the beauty of these remarkable reptiles.

Leave a Comment