Turtles were a group of reptiles whose bodies were enclosed in a scaly domed shell, into which many species could retract their head and legs for protection.

Trip Tucker recalled once seeing a cartoon featuring two garden snails hitching a ride on a turtle's back. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

The Rigellians were a reptilian species that evolved from turtles. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

In 2365, a holographic James Moriarty described himself as a fly stuck on a turtle's back. (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data")

While growing up B'Elanna Torres was made fun of for being half Klingon. She was once called "Miss Turtle Head" by Daniel Byrd, an insult which referred to her cranial ridges. Tuvok later used the same insult against her during a meditation session in 2375 as a means of demonstrating that she was easily provoked. (VOY: "Juggernaut")

Types of turtle


Background information

Additionally, a picture of what appeared to be a six-legged turtle was created for a book to be featured in Star Trek: Insurrection, but was not seen on screen.

During the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the nickname for Michael Dorn's Klingon prosthetic forehead was "the turtle". Make-up artist Michael Westmore deliberately based his alien designs on things that can be found on Earth so they're recognizable to the audience; "If people are familiar with certain designs, maybe the shape and coloration of a butterfly wing or the shell of a turtle, it has a subconscious resonance that something completely unrecognizable won't have." (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations; Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p.60)


In the Star Trek: The Original Series comic Ice Journey the inhabitants of Floe I resemble Earth turtles while on the surface of the planet, however they loose the protective shell when they enter warmer climates.

According to the Pocket TOS novel To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh, Marla McGivers and Zuleika Walker encounter a giant turtle on the planet Ceti Alpha V before it is destroyed.

In the Star Trek: The Lost Years novel A Flag Full of Stars problem student Ira Stoller often used the term "turtlehead" to refer to his Klingon teacher, Dr. G'dath.

The Voyages of Imagination short story Beside Matters states that, in Japanese mythology, the turtle represents longevity and good luck.

In the Star Trek: Vanguard Declassified novella The Stars Look Down, Cervantes Quinn notes that the Dulcinea handles like "a turtle slogging through the mud" while traveling through the wormhole to the Jinoteur system.

In the Star Trek: Titan story Over a Torrent Sea, Melora Pazlar wonders if a series of floating islands on the planet Droplet are some kind of giant turtles.

The Klingon Ship Recognition Manual, from FASA, states that Starfleet officers jokingly called the K'el Ri'anda-class starship "the turtle" due to the ship's relatively poor performance and bloated appearance.

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