How Long Do Sea Turtles Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 80 Years 

Sea turtles usually do have a very long life span. It is difficult to estimate the exact life span of any animal, but many herpetologists stated that a sea turtle’s life span is a minimum of 50 years or more. The most consistent estimation is that the life span is about 80 years. 

Many external factors are also responsible for their life span, just like climate change, natural predators, illegal hunting, and many more. These reasons minimize the lifespan of turtles. Many sea turtles are on the verge of extinction due to climate change and due to many external factors. One interesting fact is that the sea turtle takes 20-30 years to mature, and next, they can actively reproduce up to another ten years.

How Long Do Sea Turtles Live?

TypesPeriod
Turtle can live80 years (Average )
Maturity time taken after hatching10-50 Years
Female turtle can store sperm 4 years
The oldest living turtle’s age 187 years

They take time up to 10 to 50 years after hatching (depending on species) to start reproducing. Once they reach sexual maturity, they can mate, and also, they migrate to different beaches around the world to nest. Only female sea turtles approach toward shore to lay eggs. They can actively reproduce up to 10 years with various male turtles. 

Female sea turtles can store sperm for up to 4years in their sperm storage which is quite strange. They lay eggs onshore and left them with sand cover for up to two weeks, and the comeback lay another clutch. Female sea turtles lay up to 100 eggs in one season, and the eggs take about two months to hatch. One interesting fact about sea turtle reproduction is that we can determine gender during the process of fertilization.

Many research by herpetologists states that the warmer the sand, the higher will be the chance of female turtles. And the cooler the sand, the higher the chance of male turtles. Another fact is that the carnivorous sea turtle usually reaches their maturity at a very early age as compared to other green sea turtles. 

Some surveys by herpetologists claim that those sea turtles that take thirty-plus years to mature usually have a longer lifespan than others. Another claim states that the environment and surroundings affect both, directly or indirectly, the lifespan of sea turtles. The fact of environmental change, not only affects their lifestyle but also most of the sea creatures.

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Why Do Sea Turtles Live So Long?

One of the most appropriate reasons for their long-lasting life is their slowness. turtles are usually so slow for their activities, growth, and procedure. They used to grow quite slow throughout their life. They can also survive in many harsh and unfavorable conditions, which is one more reason they live long. The most crucial biological reason is their metabolism. Turtles have a very slow metabolism. They can survive a long period without food and water.

They are cold-blooded creatures and this is the reason why they don’t need much energy to keep themselves warm. Hence, they live in any condition for a long period. We humans usually take food regularly for our energy requirements. In the process of energy creation, our body damages many cells and tissues due to some chemical reaction which eventually leads to a shorter life span. 

In the case of slow metabolism animals like turtles, we observe that there is no sign of tissue damage which takes them to a longer life span. Another reason can be that the turtles usually hibernate. Due to which the energy consumption is less, which leads to minor tissue damage and ultimately leads to a long life span. 

Another reason is their physical structure. Turtles evolved defenses with time to protect themselves from predators like turtles with their shells. This protects them from becoming someone’s dinner. Hence, two key points are slow metabolism and solid physical defenses, which lead the turtles to have a long-lasting life. 

Conclusion

Life span is a period between the birth and death of any creature which is not fixed and varies with every living organism present in the world. Turtles are some of the creatures, whose lifespan is just too long. There are some physical as well as biological reasons behind it. Jonathan, an 187 years old sea turtle, is now the oldest animal present alive. Here you can guess how turtles are having longevity in their life. 

Also, the longevity of life means longevity of the reproductive period, which gives them more time to reproduce. These activities ultimately affect the ecosystem. In this period, many sea turtles are on the verge of extinction. Hence, it is important to protect and save more sea turtles so that, our nature will not be negatively affected.

Reference 

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dpsJrFxVIvUC&oi=fnd&pg=PP15&dq=How+Long+Do+Sea+Turtles+Live&ots=t84p8E8Jke&sig=JxPDarM4r5GAjbk6f4iFjURYuRM
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1310589
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