How Long Does Turtles Live?

How long do turtles live in the wild and in captivity?

Turtles and tortoises are some of the most long-lived members of the reptile family. Even small species that are typically kept as pets, like box turtles and terrapins, live in between 30 and 40 years if they’re kept healthy.

Larger types such as sea turtles are estimated to live about 80 years. The huge tortoise, the biggest of all land turtles, normally lives a minimum of a century. Some have even been known to live for more than 200 years!

Good to know: Gulf Coast Box Turtle as a Pet

Why Turtles Live So Long?

There is no set answer for why turtles and tortoises live so long.

Naturally, the longevity of a turtle’s life depends on enduring predators, contamination and other environmental risks. New hatchlings are especially vulnerable to predators up until their shells solidify.

As for domestic turtles, whether they live out the complete degree of their natural life expectancy depends mostly on the kind of care they receive.

Slow Growth

One reason turtles are thought to have such long lifespans is their slowness. Turtles continue to grow really gradually throughout their lives. This prevents them from aging in the exact same way birds and mammals do.

Thanks to their slow metabolisms, they can survive long periods without food or water, which likewise provides a higher possibility of survival in extreme conditions.

See also: African Sideneck Turtle as a Pet


Another description is that the long lives of turtles and tortoises provides a benefit that aids in reliable recreation.

Wild turtles have the tendency to live in harsh environments that aren’t always favorable to reproducing. Their long life expectancies offer them with more chances to procreate.

Turtles likewise have natural security from predators in their difficult shells and thick, armored skin, which, unlike animals that tend to be victim, gives them the luxury of being able to take their time reproducing.

See also: Red-eared Slider Turtles Care and Feeding Tips


The longest-lived of all the turtle types, the Galapagos giant tortoise, consumes a strict vegetarian diet that’s full of greens and free of fat and cholesterol.

These slow-moving mild giants are very docile and peace-loving animals that usually live hassle-free lives. This combination of calm and healthy living is most likely another explanation for their severe durability.

Interesting article: Yellow-Bellied Sliders

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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