How many years does a turtle live?
If anything is known about turtles (apart from the fact that they walk very slowly) it is that they are very long-lived animals. However, the answer to how many years a turtle lives is a fact that not everyone knows, since it is necessary to clarify between the different types of turtles that exist.
Types of turtles that we can find
Turtles are reptiles of the Testudines order. Their most representative feature is that they have their backbone welded to a shell, which serves to protect them from predators.
They are the oldest reptiles that inhabit the Earth, having been discovered fossils of them dating from the Triassic period. That is, about 252 million years ago.
There are three categories of turtles classified by the adaptations of their habitat. This is going to be one of the characteristics that allow us to define how many years a turtle lives, but we will talk about that later.
These turtles are perfectly adapted to develop their life in the sea, only going ashore when they are going to lay their eggs.
These reptiles belong to the superfamily Chelonioidea and today only 7 species of sea turtles are known. These belong to the families Dermochelydae and Cheloniidae.
These turtles have very strong and thick limbs. Its shell is elevated and spherical in shape. Most of them are herbivores and in their ecosystems they fulfill a very important mission: they disperse seeds.
A large part of the tortoises are part of the Testudinidae family, which groups 42 different species.
These are usually the most chosen as domestic turtles.
Due to the characteristics of their limbs, they are animals that can combine movement on land with swimming.
They tend to spend most of their time in the water, but they also go out frequently to feed, reproduce and sunbathe.
How many years does a turtle live?
The truth is that the longevity of a turtle varies greatly depending on its species.
It can be said that, under optimal conditions, a tortoise can live between 60-80 years, but there are cases of large tortoises that can easily exceed 100.
Until now, the oldest known tortoise was called Harriet and was a specimen that died at the age of 175 in an Australian zoo.
And it is that the habitat in which the animal lives is going to be fundamental in terms of its longevity. A turtle that lives in captivity and is fed and protected is not the same as one that has a wild life and can face predators, lack of food or destruction of its habitat.
How many years does a domestic turtle live?
The most popular turtles as pets are also animals with a high life expectancy. This is an issue to take into account, as it may happen that if you adopt it when you are a certain age, the animal will outlive you.
The reason is simple: if the animal is treated under optimal conditions, some species can live up to 80 years. So before taking this turtle home, ask yourself: are you going to be able to take care of it all its life?
Let’s now see how many years a domestic turtle lives, depending on its species and mentioning some of the most common in homes.
Life expectancy of some of the domestic turtles
Eastern Box Turtle: This reptile hails from the eastern US and while in the wild they can live to be 80 years old, in captivity they rarely exceed 50. Still, that’s a long time!
Red-eared Slider, Also known as the Florida Slider. This animal can exceed 40 years of life. It has been one of the most commercialized pet turtles, however, in Spain today its possession, trafficking, transport and trade are prohibited.
Northern map tortoise: the life expectancy of this reptile will vary greatly depending on the quality of care provided, as it can live between 15 and 100 years.
Russian tortoise: This is one of the most common tortoises in houses. It has a light shell with dark spots forming squares. They are also characterized by having highly developed sight and smell. In the wild, this reptile can live for about 40 years, but at home it can double, and even more, that age.
Western Painted Turtle: This turtle is considered an invasive species, therefore its possession and trafficking are prohibited. However, it is important to know that it can live up to 30 years.
Galapago forest tortoise: due to the destruction of its habitat, as well as its trafficking for use as pets, the existence of this reptile is highly threatened. However, in captivity it can reach 60 years.