Avatar Wiki
Avatar Wiki
Fire Nation emblem Earth Kingdom emblem URN icon

The turtle duck is a creature that lives in ponds throughout the world. It has an inclination for the warm weather of the Fire Nation,[1] but can also be found in the Earth Kingdom, as well as Avatar Korra Park in Republic City.[2] At least two kinds of turtle ducks are known, with one group lacking wings while the other has them.


In ancient times, the large turtle duck pond added to the Fire Nation Royal Palace became one of the structure's most widely known features. By the time of Avatar Kyoshi, many Earth Kingdom nobles had constructed their own mansions in likeness of the Fire Nation Royal Palace, including a turtle duck pond.[3]

Turtle duck bites Zuko

A turtle duck mother bit Zuko to defend her young.

When Zuko was a child, he and his mother, Ursa, would sit together by the edge of the Fire Nation Royal Palace's pond and feed the turtle ducks with bits of bread. When Zuko imitated how his sister, Azula, fed the turtle ducks by throwing a whole loaf of bread at one of the ducklings, the mother duck bit his leg in retaliation. Ursa gently pulled the duck from Zuko's leg and placed it back in the water. The mother and her turtle ducklings subsequently swam away.[4]

Several years later, after he had returned to the Fire Nation, Zuko revisited the same pond to feed the small creatures like before. However, when Azula arrived to speak with him, the turtle ducks swam away hastily, disturbed by her presence.[5]

Following the rescue of Hakoda from Gilak's clutches, Team Avatar prepared a celebratory meal featuring dishes from all four nations; Toph prepared braised turtle duck, representing the Earth Kingdom.[6]

Katara once hid a turtle duck in Toph's office when she worked as Chief of Police in Republic City in order to prank her. It took Toph days to find it, and by that time, the turtle duck had already laid eggs.[7]

While turtle duck recipes were traditionally common in the Earth Kingdom, turle duck shell was not sold legally in Republic City by the 170s AG. The rich and eclectic who wished to try turtle duck shell had to turn to the black market via figures such as the food smuggler Akemi.[8]

After the invasion of the United Republic of Nations, two young turtle ducks that had been separated from their owners during the evacuation of Republic City were taken under the wing of Jobal. After Meelo found and convinced him to come to the evacuee camp, the turtle ducks were returned to their owners.[9]


Young turtle duck

A young turtle duck belonging to a variant species, showcasing its wings and quacking.

Most turtle ducks have a duck's head, neck, and tail, but the body, shell, and legs of a turtle. Its neck, tail, and most of its head are light brown or beige in color. A dark brown stripe runs from its bill back over its head. Its legs and unfeathered body are of the same shade of brown. Its shell is dark green and its scaly underside is light green or off white.[2]

Some turtle ducks lack scales on their underside and have wings. Otherwise, these animals are identical to the wingless turtle ducks.[9]


The turtle duck tends to be calm and gentle, however, if one is provoked, or a mother's baby is endangered, it will attack the offender by pecking them with its sharp beak. The turtle ducks also flee from anything perceived as a threat.[4]


Two turtle ducks

An adult and a baby turtle duck. Most turtle ducks lack wings and spend most of their time in the water.

As the name implies, this animal is a cross between a duck and a turtle. Duck is an umbrella term for the common water fowl, which includes geese and swans. Turtles are ancient reptiles that have been around since the Triassic period, and there are two to three hundred species of turtles in existence today. The combination of two aquatic animals makes it a great swimmer.


Turtle duck boat

Korra and Asami Sato on a turtle duck boat in the waters of Republic City.


  1. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Turtle-ducks.
  2. 2.0 2.1 From older Welcome to Republic City online game, originally on Nick.com. Game now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Korra - Turtle duck.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Three, "Questions and Meditations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  5. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 21, 2007). "The Awakening". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part Three (April 26, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.
  7. McClaren, Meredith (writer, artist). "Beach Wars" (May 7, 2022), Dark Horse Comics.
  8. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Republic City, Version 1.0, 2023, p. 58.
  9. 9.0 9.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Aït-Kaci, Jayd (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist), Heisler, Michael (lettering). "Lost Pets" (May 5, 2018), Dark Horse Comics
  10. Hicks, Faith Erin (writer), Wartman, Peter (artist), Matera, Adele (colorist), Betancourt, Jimmy; Starkings, Richard (letterer). Azula in the Spirit Temple (October 31, 2023), Dark Horse Comics.
  11. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 13, 2013). "The Southern Lights". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "A Leaf in the Wind". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  13. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Ba Sing Se Fountain.
  14. Konietzko, Bryan (March 4, 2015). Turtle-duck Date Night. Tumblr. Retrieved on March 4, 2015.
  15. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian. (June 27, 2014). "The Earth Queen". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  16. Avatar Cookbook Q&A. Jenny Dorsey on Instagram. Retrieved on December 17, 2020.

See also[]