Let’s Talk About Turtles’ Longevity

Let’s Talk About Turtles’ Longevity

Turtles, depending on the species, are a shelled reptile that can live from 30 to 100 years. Box tortoises, one of the smaller-sized turtles, can live several decades. Giant tortoises, the largest type of turtles, can survive 100 years, or even more. Debates about why can turtles have such long lives have been opened through time, some theories suggest that turtles’ longevity is related to their bodies; metabolism, although is a fact that animals with a faster metabolism, like mice, usually have shorter lifespan compared to animals with a slower digestion.


slow metabolism

Turtles cells use up energy very slowly as a result of having a very slow metabolism, this also allows them to live longer periods of time without food consumption. Additionally, turtles tend to grow at an exceptionally slow rate than animals like mammals and birds, this gradual grow seems to be the reason they age more. They are cold-blooded creatures; hence they do not have to use their build-up energy to keep their bodies warm, they rely on the environment and is their response to the environment which regulates their body’s temperature. Furthermore, being an animal that hibernates during winter, they use a lot less energy.

Threats to their life

Shortly after hatching is when turtles are their most vulnerable because there are a handful of predators that are ready to catch them and feed off of them, that is why numerous young turtles do not survive enough to grow old and reproduce. Nevertheless, those that do survive can undergo a very long time, and because they live long times is why they can actually choose when to breed, since they live in a very hostile and precarious environment, conditions for breeding are not always ideal.

Unfortunately, humans are the biggest threat to turtles and their lifespan, as humans hunt them, or sometimes the turtles get trapped and killed by big fishing nets, and other times humans create a disturbance to their nests and environments, pollution is also a big risk factor for these creatures.