How Long Do Turtles Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 50 Years

Turtles are reptiles whose bodies are encased in bony shells, including turtles although many animals, from invertebrates to mammals, have developed shells, none have the same architecture as turtles. The turtle’s shell has an upper part (carapace) and a lower part (plastron).

The scapula and horns are bony structures that usually join together along each side of the body to form a solid bone box. This box of bones and cartilage lasts for the life of the turtle. Since the shell is part of the body, the turtle cannot get out of it, and the shell does not fall off like the skin of other reptiles.


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How Long Do Turtles Live

How Long Do Turtles Live?

It’s no secret that turtles live longer than many other pets. Some turtles can live 100 years or more. Some common domesticated water turtles can live up to 40 years of age, although many factors affect the lifespan of domestic turtles.

The lifespan of a turtle depends on the species, diet, and other aspects of the environment that we can control. If you want to know the potential lifespan of your turtle, one should first identify the turtle species. Red-eared sliders can last up to 30 years with proper care. Turtles can easily live 50 or even 80 years, which means there is a good chance that a turtle could outlive a person.

Advaita, the giant tortoise of Aldabra, is probably the oldest known tortoise. Advaita lived in a zoo in India and is believed to have died at the age of 255. These dates have not been verified.

Turtles that live in open ponds or those that live in the backyard are more susceptible to predators and the elements than their domestic counterparts. The daily risk to turtles outdoors is much higher than the risk to turtles indoors, so one should make sure that their pond or habitat is protected from predators and completely protected from the elements.

Outdoor turtles can be eaten or intimidated by other pets and wildlife. People should make sure that their pet cannot escape its habitat by burrowing under a fence and should stay away from wild animals that can infect their pet.


Species of TurtlesLifespan in Years
Red-eared slider Turtle25 to 35 years
Map Turtle15 to 25 years
Wood Turtle40 to 55 years
Eastern Box Turtle50 years or more
Russian Turtle40 years or more
Greek Tortoise100 years or more
Leopard Tortoise100 years or more

Why Do Turtles Live So Long?

Larger turtles and tortoises can live quite long lives. Smaller species, most popular as pets, have a shorter lifespan but can last for several decades. There are many records of turtles that have lived for almost 200 years (or even longer). These claims are difficult to verify because the turtles clearly outlive their owners.

Be sure to carefully research the ideal diet for your new turtle. Many turtle species are suitable for mixing pellets and commercial turtle food, but the exact proportions and types of pellets and fresh foods can vary greatly.

A proper diet can help prevent vitamin A deficiency, one of the most common health problems in domesticated turtles, and also includes calcium deficiency, often secondary to vitamin D deficiency, which is a serious problem in these reptiles and turtles that are raised in the absence of UV radiation and can cause the softening of their shells and underdevelopment.

Diet is not the only ingredient needed for a healthy turtle, a person should also visit a veterinarian regularly to ensure his turtle is well looked after. A clean room with adequate space will also help prevent age spots. Dirty and stressful living conditions can drastically shorten the turtle’s lifespan. The correct temperature is also important for the turtle’s health and happiness.


However, one factor that seems to play a role is turtles’ relatively slow metabolism, which helps them process things like disease and aging at a different rate than birds or pets. It also helps them to live long periods without food or water.

In turn, the turtle can go into an empty and dead state, into a state of hibernation, when temperatures become too high or cold. During this time, water turtles can live for months in water without access to oxygen, which, according to some researchers, plays an important role in how the turtle’s body can metabolize these toxins.


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