How Long Do Snapping Turtles Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 45 To 70 Years

Turtles are reptiles that are found in all parts of America. Turtles in general are known to live for a long time. The lifespan of a turtle might depend on the species too. One of the species of turtle is the Snapping turtles or Common snapping turtles. Snapping turtles can be recognized by the flat shells.

The lifespan of a turtle can even be up to 100 years or more in some cases. However, the majority of the turtles are known to live for a minimum of 20 years.


How Long Do Snapping Turtles Live?

Snapping turtles are species that can grow up to 8 to 12 inches in length in their overall lifespan. As they grow, year by year, the turtle becomes huge. However, not all snapping turtles will live that long to be huge.

On average, a snapping turtle has a life span of about 45 to 70 years. Although many things matter when it is about how long the snapping turtle will live.

When a female turtle lays eggs, she returns to the water once the young turtle hatches out of the egg. After this, the young turtle has to live and grow all by themselves. It often happens that while they are only months or years old, they fall prey to predators. It majorly shortens the lifespan of the snapping turtle.

The snapping turtle is in danger both in water and on land. The constant danger that the turtles are in can be a factor in lessening the lifespan of a snapping turtle. However, there have been reports of snapping turtles that have lived up to 150 years.

Species of turtleThe lifespan of the turtles
Red-eared slider25 to 35 years
Map turtles15 to 25 years
Wood turtle40 to 55 years
Eastern box turtleMore than 50 years
Painted turtle25 to 30 years
Snapping turtle45 to 70 years

Why Do Snapping Turtles Live That Long?

How well a snapping turtle can survive the initial years is imminent. Once the snapping turtle surpasses the initial years staying away from danger can lead them to have a pretty long life. Once a snapping turtle ages, they become huge and start to look dangerous, keeping the predators away.

Snapping turtles are found in the wild as well in zoos and sanctuaries. The living conditions that a snapping turtle is in can be a contributor to its lifespan. The snapping turtles that are in the wild are always in danger. Also, they are responsible for finding their food and safe spaces. Hence, they tend to live for a lesser time.

When the snapping turtles are bred in captivity, they have a safe environment where there is no danger of any kind. Plus, the other benefit is that they are provided with proper food and care. It is due to all the benefits that the snapping turtles in captivity live way longer than the turtles in the wild.

The species also play an imminent role in deciding the lifespan. Alligator snapping turtles live longer than the common snapping turtles. Some alligator turtles are also known to live for more than 150 years.

The metabolism of a turtle is very high compared to other reptiles. Due to the high metabolism, the snapping turtle tends to live for decades. Another thing that can impact the lifespan of any snapping turtle is the health condition. If the snapping turtle is healthy and does not have any ailments, it can live for a long time.

While on the other hand, if the turtle has a health condition that is life-threatening or there is no cure for the disease, it can shorten the life span of the snapping turtle.


It is all about the conditions that a snapping turtle lives in that will decide how long it will live. Although, the natural habitat of the snapping turtle suits them best and also makes it strong to keep the predators away.

When a snapping turtle that has been kept as a pet is let outside, it cannot survive more than a couple of years. When kept as pets or when kept in captivity, it is necessary to take immense care of the turtle so that it lives for a long time.


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