Turtle Facts: How Long Do They Live
Turtles are one of the oldest creatures known to humankind. These gentle creatures come in various shapes and sizes and can be found all over the world. Turtles belong to a group of reptiles called ‘Testudines’, consisting of tortoises, terrapins, and other turtles.
Whether it’d be a turtle, terrapin, or a tortoise, they are known for how slow they walk in the land and how gentle they can be in the water. How long do turtles live is highly dependent on different factors, but still, turtles are known to be durable and highly adaptable species to their environment. If you are interested in turtles, here are some interesting facts about them!
Fun Facts About Turtles
Turtles live all over the world
Whether it’d be saltwater or freshwater, turtle’s durability makes them one of the most highly adaptable creatures on the planet. They can be classified into three types, and they can be either semi-aquatic, aquatic, or semi-terrestrial.
But whatever type of turtle it is, they all need water to soak and swim, and that determines how long do turtles live. There are also types of turtles who bask in the land, although this varies on this specific species of turtle.
Temperature is the key
The temperature of the nest determines the gender of turtles. When the nest is cool, it tends to hatch more male turtles, whereas warmer nest temperature results in mostly females hatchlings. On the other hand, a temperature that is constantly fluctuating produces a mix of both sexes.
Leatherback Sea Turtles
This type of sea turtle dates back to prehistoric times. And they have maintained their current form even during the time of the dinosaurs. They are also one of the best divers in terms of depth.
The record for the deepest dives of leatherback turtles reached up to 4,000 feet! Deeper than what humpbacks, dolphins and other marine mammals can. One distinct feature that leatherback turtles have is their “papillae” lining around their esophagus and mouth, which helps them trap and eat their prey.
Sea turtles are good divers
As reptiles, even though they breathe air, have the ability to hold their breath underwater for a long period. They can even sleep underwater! So almost all sea turtles spend their lives in the water, and they only come back to the beach whenever they have to lay their eggs. On the other hand, green sea turtles come ashore just to bask under the heat of the sun.
A group of turtle eggs is called a clutch. On average, sea turtles lay around 100 to 125 eggs per nest and nest multiple times again. After two months of laying the eggs, they will eventually hatch. These hatchlings crawl their way up to the sand and off to the beach in which they will be spending most of their lives. Some of these hatchlings face various threats. In most cases, those who survived as adults are decades old.
Some species of turtles are carnivores, some other types are herbivores, and some are omnivores. Land-dwelling turtles prey on beetles, grass, and fruits, whereas sea-dwelling turtles’ diet relies on everything, from algae to jellyfish and even squid!
Turtles can be humongous
Although sea turtles vary in size, they can go as small as 70cm and 40kg like the Kemp’s Ridley or go as big as 180cm and 500kg like the leatherback turtles. That’s ten times the weight of Kemp’s Ridley!
Surprisingly, the biggest turtle ever found was in Wales. It is a leatherback turtle that measures 2.5 meters long from flippers to flippers, and it weighs roughly 900 kilograms!
Not a lot goes through adulthood
It is estimated that for every 1000 hatchlings, only 1 or 2 make it to adulthood. How long do turtles live varies from where they hatch and the number of threats they face.
How long do turtles live
Any species of turtles, terrapins, and tortoises can live for as long as 100 years! However, especially larger turtles and tortoises are known to have some of the longest lifespans in turtles.
Some smaller types of turtles that are common as household pets go for several decades as well. Some tortoises are recorded to have lived for up to 200 years, or even more. Although it may be hard to verify these claims as tortoises outlive their owners, still tortoises are well-documented to live north of 100 years.
Green sea turtles love greenies
They are a unique type of turtle as their primary diet consists of seagrasses and algae, and this means that they are herbivores even if they have lived most of their lives underwater. And because they love seagrasses and algae, which are commonly green, this gives them a greenish hue in their cartilage. Hence the name comes from.
Home is where the heart is
Females go back to the same shore where they hatched on. And whenever they go ashore, they lay their eggs and bury them. Their impressive navigation ability comes from their keen sense of the earth’s magnetic fields. So, if they happen to live long enough to lay their eggs, they can just go to where it all started.
Turtles Still Face Many Threats
One of the most common threats to sea turtles is getting tangled and caught up in fishing gear. This is probably the single-most biggest threat to marine sea turtles. Sadly, it is also estimated that around 40% to 60% of turtles ingest plastics and other garbage humans throw at the ocean or sea, and this is because almost all turtles mistake it for being a food such as algae or jellyfish.
Another threat to turtles is their natural habitat being destroyed. Almost half of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed, and if climate change continues, the rest could go by the year 2050. We as humans should have the initiative to preserve what’s left of them and help them further be protected and preserved over the upcoming years.
Join us here at ATOLEA in our mission to prolong the existence of our sea creatures including the turtles. For every profit we make from your purchase on our Ocean-inspired jewelry collections, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities. This is our way of giving back and expressing our appreciation to these wonderful creations we have.
So dive into our elegant collections and be inspired to care for them more with our ATOLEA Turtle-inspired jewelry designs. We are sure you will fall in love with them!