How Long Does it Take for Turtle Eggs to Hatch – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 45-90 days

It can be hard to calculate the actual hatching period for turtle eggs. The time taken for the eggs to hatch is dependent on various variables such as temperatures and the depth of the nest.


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The period taken for the turtle eggs to hatch is also dependent on the provided care and the prevailing environmental conditions. It could be out in nature’s wild or in an incubator.

Thus, it is majorly the existing variables that make the hatching timeframe vary. Some turtles may hatch as early as one hour, while others may take days or even weeks.

How Long Does it Take for Turtle Eggs to Hatch

How Long Does it Take for Turtle Eggs to Hatch?

Turtle Eggs TypeTime
Land Turtles45-90 days
Sea Turtles (Green Eggs)45-55 days
Sea Turtles (Loggerheads)45-55 days
Sea Turtles (Leatherback Eggs)70-80 days

Land Turtles

There are different species of female turtles, and they all have different hatching periods. However, the land turtle can typically hatch after 45-90 days.

45-90 days can be a very long time if someone is expecting to see the baby turtles! It is suggested that you should check on the eggs six weeks after the laying of the eggs.

Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have different types of eggs, such as green eggs, loggerheads, and leatherback eggs.

Green eggs and loggerheads can take approximately 45-55 days to hatch. On the other hand, leatherback eggs delay a little bit longer as they can take approximately 70 -80 days or more to develop into hatchlings.

After the incubation period, some eggs will get out of the shells as quickly as possible such as after only one hour, while others would even take days to get out of the shells.

Most turtles hatch during the night (between 9 pm and 5 am).

Generally, it can be seen that turtle eggs can take really long periods to mature and hatch. Hence, a lot of patience is needed to ensure that the baby turtles come out safely.

Reasons Why Turtle Eggs Take so Much Long to Hatch

It is natural for turtle eggs to take so long to hatch. However, the exact number of days is determined by some number of variables such as:

  1. Species
  2. Size of the Nest
  3. Temperature


As explained before, turtles are divided into multiple species, which include sea turtles and land turtles.

The different types of species lay different kinds of eggs that have distinctive features. Thus, it is the variable features that cause variances in the hatching time length.

However, all turtles typically take a long time to hatch.

Size of the Nest

The size of the nest is determined by the clutch size (number of eggs) and the depth of the nest.

The clutch size varies according to the turtle. For instance, a leatherback sea turtle can produce a clutch size of 110, while a giant soft-shell turtle generally has a clutch size of 24-70 eggs.

A large clutch size generally lengthens the period for all the eggs to hatch.

The depth of the nest also determines the warmth of the eggs, which has an effect on when the eggs will hatch.


Most turtle species require a temperature range of approximately 85 to 90 degrees F. Variations in temperature usually have an effect on the hatching time length.

Extremely low or exceedingly high temperatures could increase the time taken for the turtle eggs to hatch or even destroy them.


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