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42 Turtle Quotes Teaching Patience, Self-worth, And More (2024)

When we think of turtles, images of their shell homes and slow pace often come to mind. This list of turtle quotes aims to teach us valuable lessons of persistence and resilience from these ancient reptiles. Let's harness these messages to advocate for their conservation, ensuring these beloved creatures endure for generations to come.

Turtle Quotes Describing The Creature

Believe it or not, turtles are ancient creatures of the Earth with a rich history of evolution. They outlasted even the mightiest dinosaurs with their first recorded presence around 230 million years ago1

With their sturdy shells, turtles walk or swim in diverse habitats - from oceans to deserts to swampy wetlands. Regarding their longevity, tortoises have an impressive lifespan stretching up to 150 years or more. Learn more about these shelled survivors by reading up on turtle facts you might not know.





"The creatures of the sea hold special mystery, and they are among the most exciting, graceful, and beautiful on Earth. Just consider the living riot of a coral reef, the beauty of an albatross, the awesome power of a giant turtle, the grace of a dolphin. Now multiply that by the millions of creatures in the sea. Wow!" -Carl Safina #trvst #quotes #impact #bethechange #turtle #special #beauty #power

"The creatures of the sea hold special mystery, and they are among the most exciting, graceful, and beautiful on Earth. Just consider the living riot of a coral reef, the beauty of an albatross, the awesome power of a giant turtle, the grace of a dolphin. Now multiply that by the millions of creatures in the sea. Wow!"
- Carl Safina

"The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles." -Sandy Archibald #trvst #quotes #gogreen #changetheworld #turtle #blood #beach

"The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles."
- Sandy Archibald

"I don’t want to live in a world where I could say to my daughter, ‘There used to be turtles that swam in the ocean.’" -Angela Kinsey #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #planetearthfirst #turtle #world

"I don’t want to live in a world where I could say to my daughter, ‘There used to be turtles that swam in the ocean.’"
- Angela Kinsey

"Changes in Latitudes' began when I was looking at a photograph of a sea turtle swimming underwater. I had such a strong feeling for the beauty of this ancient creature, at home in the sea. On the spot, I wanted to swim with that turtle. I began to imagine a character who would do just that." -Will Hobbs #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #planetearthfirst #turtle #beauty #photograph

"Changes in Latitudes' began when I was looking at a photograph of a sea turtle swimming underwater. I had such a strong feeling for the beauty of this ancient creature, at home in the sea. On the spot, I wanted to swim with that turtle. I began to imagine a character who would do just that."
- Will Hobbs

Clocking at a top speed of just 3 miles per hour on land, turtles motivate us to appreciate an unhurried pace in life. Aesop's fable of 'The Tortoise and the Hare' bestows wisdom about their slow stride: steady progress can lead to success. This narrative champions persistence over speed, suggesting triumph comes to steadfast and resilient people. 

Furthermore, turtles embody the virtue of mindfulness, teaching us to savor each present moment. With that said, take your time to reflect on the following quotes or check out some other slow animals.

"Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause." -Bruce Feiler #trvst #quotes #impact #planetearthfirst #turtle #world

"Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause."
- Bruce Feiler

"Tortoises can tell you more about the road than hares." -Khalil Gibran #trvst #quotes #beinspired #collectiveaction #turtle

"Tortoises can tell you more about the road than hares."
- Khalil Gibran

"Nature is slow, but sure; she works no faster than need be; she is the tortoise that wins the race by her perseverance." -Henry David Thoreau #trvst #quotes #bethechange #ecoconscious #turtle

"Nature is slow, but sure; she works no faster than need be; she is the tortoise that wins the race by her perseverance."
- Henry David Thoreau

"Wealth comes like a turtle and goes away like a gazelle." -Arabic Proverb #trvst #quotes #bethechange #socialimpact #turtle

"Wealth comes like a turtle and goes away like a gazelle."
- Arabic Proverb

"Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help." -Alex Haley #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #gogreen #turtle

"Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help."
- Alex Haley

"Slow and steady wins the race." -Aesop #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #changetheworld #turtle

"Slow and steady wins the race."
- Aesop

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato #trvst #quotes #beinspired #collectiveaction #turtle

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow."
- Plato

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." -Confucius #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #takeaction #turtle

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."
- Confucius

"I'm like an old turtle these days. I don't run wide-open everywhere, but at the end of the day, I'll be where I'm supposed to be." -Tracy Lawrence #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #gogreen #turtle

"I'm like an old turtle these days. I don't run wide-open everywhere, but at the end of the day, I'll be where I'm supposed to be."
- Tracy Lawrence

"If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more. Then begin encouraging small changes, putting just enough pressure on yourself to move one turtle step forward. Then rest, savor, celebrate. Then step again. You’ll find that slow is fast, gentle is powerful, and stillness moves mountains." -Martha Beck #trvst #quotes #beinspired #bethechange #turtle #relax

"If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more. Then begin encouraging small changes, putting just enough pressure on yourself to move one turtle step forward. Then rest, savor, celebrate. Then step again. You’ll find that slow is fast, gentle is powerful, and stillness moves mountains."
- Martha Beck

Quotes About The Turtle's Home

The turtle's shell is not only its iconic feature but also its fortress. It's both home and shield. Intriguingly, it is not removable since it is part of the turtle's skeleton, with the upper part known as the carapace. 

Through the ages, the shell has inspired metaphors for self-worth. Eileen Anglin's words below reflect this insight, emphasizing inner completeness. Reflect on the other quotes about the turtle’s homes.

"The Turtle’s teachings are so beautiful. So very special. It teaches us that everything you are, everything you need, and everything you bring to the world is inside you, not external, and you carry it with you and are not limited to a place, space, or time." -Eileen Anglin #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #dogood #turtle #special #space #world #teachings

"The Turtle’s teachings are so beautiful. So very special. It teaches us that everything you are, everything you need, and everything you bring to the world is inside you, not external, and you carry it with you and are not limited to a place, space, or time."
- Eileen Anglin

"I'm as self-contained as a turtle. When I put my key in the ignition, I have my home right behind me." -Esther Tallamy #trvst #quotes #gogreen #dogood #turtle

"I'm as self-contained as a turtle. When I put my key in the ignition, I have my home right behind me."
- Esther Tallamy

"I am now a turtle. Virtually everything I own is on my back and suffice it to say I am one ton lighter and, therefore, 2,000 pounds happier. All houses are gone." -Bobby Darin #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #changetheworld #turtle

"I am now a turtle. Virtually everything I own is on my back and suffice it to say I am one ton lighter and, therefore, 2,000 pounds happier. All houses are gone."
- Bobby Darin

"See the turtle of enormous girth, on his shell he holds the earth. If you want to run and play, come along the beam today." -Stephen King #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #dogood #turtle #earth

"See the turtle of enormous girth, on his shell he holds the earth. If you want to run and play, come along the beam today."
- Stephen King

"It's okay to play turtle for a while, as long as you don't get too fond of your shell." -Eileen Wilks #trvst #quotes #impact #bethechange #turtle

"It's okay to play turtle for a while, as long as you don't get too fond of your shell."
- Eileen Wilks

"If superstition could contradict science, the world may as well be on the back of a turtle. But giving into turtle worship was a bridge too far." -Thomm Quackenbush #trvst #quotes #takeaction #socialimpact #turtle #world #science

"If superstition could contradict science, the world may as well be on the back of a turtle. But giving into turtle worship was a bridge too far."
- Thomm Quackenbush

More Turtle Lessons To Learn From

Aside from the common lessons mentioned above, turtles can also teach us about risks and rewards. Take their behavior of extending their necks out from their shells; it's a risk they take for survival. This action teaches us the value of stepping out of our comfort zones to advance. 

Consider the lessons held in the inspirational turtle sayings below.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." -James Bryant Conant #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #takeaction #turtle

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
- James Bryant Conant

"Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out." -Louis V. Gerstner #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #dogood #turtle

"Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out."
- Louis V. Gerstner

"Pride of one's work is not improper, unladylike, or vain. We can all take a lesson from the sea turtle. She does not travel thousands of miles or risk all for her ego. She has an instinct for greatnessone that I believe is found in all living creatures." -Mary Alice #trvst #quotes #takeaction #gogreen #turtle

"Pride of one's work is not improper, unladylike, or vain. We can all take a lesson from the sea turtle. She does not travel thousands of miles or risk all for her ego. She has an instinct for greatnessone that I believe is found in all living creatures."
- Mary Alice

"I would honestly say I'm in the turtle's race. My journey is a marathon." -Omari Hardwick #trvst #quotes #beinspired #dogood #turtle

"I would honestly say I'm in the turtle's race. My journey is a marathon."
- Omari Hardwick

"No man has ever seen a turtle climbing the wall. In order to do the things which are impossible for you, you need to change yourself, and better still, transform yourself into something new!" -Mehmet Murat İldan #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #thinkgreen #turtle

"No man has ever seen a turtle climbing the wall. In order to do the things which are impossible for you, you need to change yourself, and better still, transform yourself into something new!"
- Mehmet Murat İldan

"Trusting in wealth is like looking for feathers on turtles." -Senegalese Proverb #trvst #quotes #bethechange #bethechange #turtle #wealth

"Trusting in wealth is like looking for feathers on turtles."
- Senegalese Proverb

"Words have a life of their own. There is no telling what they will do. Within a matter of days, they can even turn turtle and mean the opposite." -Craig Brown #trvst #quotes #beinspired #takeaction #turtle #life

"Words have a life of their own. There is no telling what they will do. Within a matter of days, they can even turn turtle and mean the opposite."
- Craig Brown

Noteworthy Quotes From Authors And Poets, Including Turtles

Turtles grace literature across genres of all ages, as deep symbols or characters. In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Mock Turtle teaches Alice about the bizarre world she's tumbled into through sad tales and whimsical songs.

Aside from Lewis Carroll’s novel and other literary works below, what other turtle imagery or character are you fond of reading?

"‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, ‘we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise.’ ‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?’ Alice asked. ‘We called him Tortoise because he taught us,’ said the Mock Turtle angrily: 'Really you are very dull!’" -Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #dogood #turtle

"‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, ‘we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise.’ ‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?’ Alice asked. ‘We called him Tortoise because he taught us,’ said the Mock Turtle angrily: 'Really you are very dull!’"
- Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

"Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle's heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too." -Ernest Hemingway #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #planetearthfirst #turtle #people

"Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle's heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too."
- Ernest Hemingway

"On my door there's a cartoon of two turtles. One says, ‘Sometimes I'd like to ask why he allows poverty, famine and injustice when he could do something about it. ‘The other turtle says, ‘I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.'" -Peter Kreeft #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #planetearthfirst #turtle

"On my door there's a cartoon of two turtles. One says, ‘Sometimes I'd like to ask why he allows poverty, famine and injustice when he could do something about it. ‘The other turtle says, ‘I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.'"
- Peter Kreeft

"‘Now you see,' said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, ‘why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else's joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.'" -Amy Tan #trvst #quotes #impact #ecoconscious #turtle

"‘Now you see,' said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, ‘why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else's joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.'"
- Amy Tan

Hooray! shouted Yertle. ‘I’m king of the trees! I’m king of the birds! And I’m king of the bees! I’m king of the butterflies! King of the air! Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair! I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! For I am the ruler of all that I see!’

~ Dr Seuss

Quotes About Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Turtles have also left a significant mark on pop culture, most notably through the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These characters, a quartet of anthropomorphic turtles named after Renaissance artists Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael,  fight crime with martial arts. 

Since the 1980s, they have become symbols of courage and camaraderie for multiple generations. Check out iconic lines and their impact through the quotes below.

"We’re lean, we’re green, and we’re mean!" -Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #collectiveaction #turtle

"We’re lean, we’re green, and we’re mean!"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"I was obsessed with the Turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There's Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and my dad used to call me Callemundo, saying you're the fifth turtle." -Callum Smith #trvst #quotes #bethechange #thinkgreen #turtle

"I was obsessed with the Turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There's Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and my dad used to call me Callemundo, saying you're the fifth turtle."
- Callum Smith

"Rabbits are played. Nowadays it’s all about the turtles. Tell them it’s a ninja, they’ll freak." -Etgar Keret #trvst #quotes #bethechange #dogood #turtle

"Rabbits are played. Nowadays it’s all about the turtles. Tell them it’s a ninja, they’ll freak."
- Etgar Keret

Short Quotes To Celebrate World Turtle Day Online

Ending this post with an important message, we bring to light the daunting threats all turtles face. Habitat destruction, pollution, and wildlife trade push turtle species like the Hawksbill and Kemp's Ridley towards critical endangerment. These ancient mariners need our help. 

Inspirational turtle quotes offer life lessons and can promote the creature’s conservation. On May 23rd, World Turtle Day, grab some quotes from this list and encourage protective measures and a global appreciation for these animals.

"Love makes even a turtle smile." -Henrietta Newton #trvst #quotes #impact #beinspired #turtle

"Love makes even a turtle smile."
- Henrietta Newton

"And the turtles, of course…all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." -Dr. Seuss #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #ecoconscious #turtle #free

"And the turtles, of course…all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."
- Dr. Seuss

"Try to be like the turtle at ease in your own shell." -Bill Copeland #trvst #quotes #bethechange #planetearthfirst #turtle

"Try to be like the turtle at ease in your own shell."
- Bill Copeland

"All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle." -Ralph Waldo Emerson #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #takeaction #turtle

"All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are absolutely free to describe me as a turtle or something." -Paul Giamatti #trvst #quotes #bethechange #beinspired #turtle #free

"You are absolutely free to describe me as a turtle or something."
- Paul Giamatti

"We don't even know if we're in this room. We could be in a turtle's dream in outer space." -Danny Devito #trvst #quotes #bethechange #bethechange #turtle #space

"We don't even know if we're in this room. We could be in a turtle's dream in outer space."
- Danny Devito

"I got a few speeding tickets when I was young, but I'm a little more like the turtle than the hare." -Christopher Lloyd #trvst #quotes #beinspired #socialimpact #turtle #young

"I got a few speeding tickets when I was young, but I'm a little more like the turtle than the hare."
- Christopher Lloyd

Isabela is a determined millennial passionate about continuously seeking out ways to make an impact. With a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with honors, Isabela’s research expertise and interest in artistic works, coupled with a creative mindset, offers readers a fresh take on different environmental, social, and personal development topics.

Photo by Amanda Phung on Unsplash
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