If you have a domestic turtle, you may have wondered how long can turtles live?
Turtles are known to be the reptiles with the longest lifespan. But how long can a turtle live on average?
How long can turtles live?
The smallest species are freshwater turtles and box turtles, and their lifespan averages 30-40 years. Larger turtles, usually sea turtles, live to be around 80 years old, while larger species like giant tortoise have an average lifespan of one hundred years! Some are known to have lived for more than two hundred years.
Sea turtles spend their entire lives in ocean waters. Female turtles lay their eggs on land, but as they hatch the turtles make their way into the water as their natural instincts dictate. They can swim great distances, even up to thousands of miles. They have large fins which help them to be strong swimmers. The fins themselves make it difficult for them to walk on land and for this they literally have to drag themselves along the land.
The average life span of turtles
The average life span of a turtle depends on species to species. They range from 30 to 150 years. There is not enough scientific data to establish an exact specific lifespan for each species, but most of them outlive people. Therefore, if you have just got a baby sea turtle, there is a good chance it will outlive you, as long as it has a healthy and living life in a supportive environment.
Turtle species that live more than a hundred years are Aldabra tortoises, Galapagos tortoises, and Seychelles tortoises. There are some species that have an average life span of 20 to 30 years, these are box turtles and red-eared turtles. Some of them even live up to 50 years.
Unfortunately, in their natural habitat, many turtles die from being caught in fishing nets or eaten by large sea creatures. Others are threatened with the loss of their habitat and breeding ground.
The good news for pet owners is that because turtles kept in captivity usually have veterinary care, sufficient doses, and are safe from predators, they live for much longer periods than those living in their natural habitat.
The breeding process
One of the main reasons for the long life of turtles is their strategy for their reproduction process. This plays a vital role in the survival of every turtle species. A large number of turtles do not survive the first year, and many of those that survive the first year die before reaching adulthood.
Among those who reach adulthood, most live to the average lifespan of their species. Due to the low mortality rate, most adult females lay eggs multiple times. An average 50-year-old female turtle lays over 5,000 eggs. Due to a lack of sufficient data, scientists are unable to predict the maximum age of the different species. However, the general rule that can be followed is that followed by most vertebrates; larger species usually live for longer periods than smaller ones. Therefore, the larger your pet turtle, the longer it is likely to live.
Turtles typically live for several decades. As a current or potential owner of a pet turtle, you need to be aware that your pet is going to be in the family for more than a couple of decades. The requirements for this to happen are adequate healthcare, adequate food, and the right habitat.
Populations of sea turtles
Sea turtles have lived in the oceans for over one hundred million years. They form an important link between marine ecosystems, including sea grasslands and coral reefs. Sea turtles play an important role in controlling jellyfish populations in ocean waters. Turtles also attract people for ecotourism and allow local communities to earn more.
The sad news is that sea turtles are rapidly disappearing and their populations are rapidly declining. Many die each year as they become trapped in fishing nets. Furthermore, the beaches they use for nesting are rapidly disappearing. Very important conservation work is done by the WWF. The organization works with local communities to protect nesting areas and decrease the quantities of eggs that are collected. Additionally, fishermen are encouraged to switch to alternative equipment that is safer for turtles.
Why do turtles live longer?
There is no reason why tortoises and tortoises live longer than other creatures on land; however, there are some theories that may eventually be answered. Turtles have slow metabolisms and a lifestyle that is naturally healthy. Furthermore, their reproduction system contributes to their long lifespan.
Despite all of these theories, the lifespan of an adult turtle depends on its ability to survive pollution and predators. As environmental issues are on the rise, this risk is becoming greater than ever.
Baby turtles are at risk even before they are born. A large number of eggs are eaten by predators. When the eggs hatch and they move to ocean waters, the first step towards their survival is their ability to reach sea waters. They are particularly vulnerable until their shells become hard.
How long can turtles live? Your pet turtles are dependent on you for the care they receive and will only be able to live their expected lifespan if you act responsibly and offer them loving sweet care!