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DID YOU KNOW? “PAGONG” and “PAWIKAN” are not the same

A common mistake of some people is calling Pawikans, Pagongs and vice versa. They may look quite similar and they may be both reptiles, however, both are actually totally different. Let us differentiate the two:

Pawikan in English is called Sea Turtle; while Pagong in English is Tortoise.

Pawikans have four flippers; while Pagongs have four legs.

Pawikans mostly have flat, streamlined shells; while Pagongs mostlye have large dome-shaped shells.

Pawikans from the name itself, spend most of their life in the water; while Pagongs stay on land.

Pawikans cannot hide themselves in their shells; while Pagongs can.

Additional info: Terrapins are turtles that fall somewhere between sea turtle and tortoise. The have claws instead of flippers and legs.



  1. 5 out of 7 Sea Turtles are found in the Philippines.

Green; Hawksbill; Loggerhead; Olive Ridley and Leatherback.

  1. Sea Turtles cannot breathe underwater.

They can only hold their breath for approximately 4-7 hours. (Notice tiny heads of Sea Turtles coming up for air? Aren’t they cute and quite exciting to watch? )

  1. Leatherbacks are the biggest species of sea turtle.

The largest measured almost 3 meters (9 feet) from tip to tail and weighed 970 kg.

  1. Sea Turtles lay eggs on sandy beaches, beaches where they were born.

When mother sea turtles are about to lay their eggs, they always go back to the beach where they were born years ago. They have the ability to locate their home beach. Even if they have travelled miles away, they come back one day just to lay their eggs.

  1. Sea Turtle eggs look like ping-pong balls.
  2. New born sea turtles are called hatchlings.
  3. The temperature of a turtle’s nest is what determines the gender of the hatchlings.

Warmer temperature usually produces mostly female hatchlings; while cooler temperature produces mostly male hatchlings.

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