The difference between a Turtle and a tortoise has to do with how much time is spent in the water. A turtle's streamlined shell is designed for water life, where as a tortoise is semi-terrestrial, dwelling mainly on land. These reptiles fascinate and are esteemed because they carry their homes on their backs. Melvin Sandoval's marble turtle or tortoise is a beauty, elegantly carved from marble. About 3" long, 2" wide and 5/8" tall.