Generally, turtles move faster than tortoises, even on land.
Tortoises of the genus Gopherus have been clocked at rates 0.13 to 0.30 mph (0.05 to 0.13 m/s).
Female turtles usually swim at a faster pace than that of their babies or the male turtle in order to protect their young from predators.
The marine green turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been known to swim 300 miles (480 km) in 10 days.
Most turtles can not survive in really cold temperatures and the body temperature of the turtle is that of the outside air or water.
A cold environment could cause the animal's life processes to slow down to the point where it is incapable of motion.
This is compared to the rate on land of a normally aquatic cooter (Pseudemys floridana) which has been recorded at 1.07 mph (0.47 m/s).
In a speed test carried out in the Seychelles a male giant tortoise could only cover 15 feet (4.6 m) in 43.5 seconds despite the enticement of a female.
Clumsy and almost helpless on land (they have to come ashore to lay their eggs) they are fast migrators in the sea and can reach speeds of 10 knots and are very agile.
Wood turtles are considered overland speed demons compared to the other species.