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how long do pet turtles live

How Long Do Pet Turtles Live | Pet Turtle’s Lifespan

Owning a turtle as a pet is a lifelong responsibility and so, many turtle owners cherish knowing the lifespan of their pets. Well, as we all know that turtles are among the longest-living species in the world, but how long do pet turtles live in captivity?

I am a turtle and tortoise nerd and always seek answers to these weird questions. If you are ardently like me and really want to know how much your pet turtle will live, then make the thoughtful journey with me for the rest of this article.

I will also discuss some of the sure-shot tips that can help you enhance the pet turtles’ lifespan.

So, let’s get, set, and go.

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How Long Do Pet Turtles Live?

Turtles and tortoises have been blessed with an incredibly long lifespan. In the wilderness, some species are thought to survive even for 100+ years.

However, pet turtles have a little longer lifespan compared to the wilderness. It is possible since, in the wild, turtles always need to play hide and seek game with predators to survive and also don’t get the care it gets in captivity.

However, before we move on to see the lifespan of popular pet turtles, why not see the world’s longest-living turtle, actually a tortoise?

Yes, Jonathan was hatched in 1832, and currently, he ages 188 years. With such an incredible lifespan, he is the longest-living terrestrial species at present.

But wait, Jonathan isn’t the longest-lived tortoise. Yes, the all-time record for the longest-living turtle or tortoise is held by the famous Tu’i Malila, who was born in 1777. It survived the 1st and 2nd World Wars before dying in 1966 at the age of 190 years.

You might be wondering, can your pet turtle live that long?

Well, there is an irony to it. Even if your turtle lives so long, you won’t be in the world to know it. Maybe, your great-great-grandson will hold the Guinness World Record medal and certificate.

Jokes apart, the following list will give you a good idea of how long your pet turtle might live.

Species NameExpected Lifespan
Red Eared Slider25-35 years
Box Turtle30-40 years
Painted Turtle25-35 years
Map Turtle15-25 years
Russian Turtle40-50 years
Greek Tortoise100+ years
Leopard Tortoise100+years

As you see from the table, most pet turtles will live around 25-30 years as pets since the most popular turtles for pets are box, map, painted, and red-eared sliders. Also, from the table, you get an implication that the tortoise has a long lifespan than turtles.

Also, as I have already mentioned that turtles live a little longer as pets than in the wilderness, So, if you want to know how long a particular turtle species will survive in the wilderness, just minus 5-15 years from the lifespan mentioned above to get a rough idea.

Why do Pet Turtles Live So Long?

You might be wondering what makes the turtle and tortoise live so long? Do they have particular genes for it or is it due to their eating habit or what?

Well, the exact reasons for turtles’ unthinkable lifespan are a mystery to scientists and biologists as far as biologists have concluded that the slow metabolism rate of turtles has a crucial part to play in the turtles’ long lifespan.

A slow metabolism rate defies that turtles use less energy which helps them keep fit. Also, the slow metabolism rate comes in handy in reducing the aging rate of turtles. Furthermore, it prevents diseases, as well. All these factors combine to give a pet turtle an incredible lifespan.

Another factor that might boost the lifespan is probably the turtles’ ability to live for a really long time without food. Finally, during rough conditions, turtles immediately go into hibernation which also is responsible for turtles’ lifespan.

Can You Boost Turtle Lifespan?

Yes, you can easily improve the lifespan of pet turtles with proper care. There are several caring tips that you can apply to boost the lifespan of pets.

Firstly, start with the right temperature of turtle tank water. Ideally, the turtle tank water should always be between 75°F to 80°F. And for the basking, the tank temperature may need to increase from 78°F to 85°F.

You may use UV lights to provide proper basking heat in the area and also ensure UVA and UVB radiation for the turtle.

Both UV lamp and proper heating in the basking area is crucial since these two control turtle metabolism rate. Also, the lack of adequate basking results in Vitamin D deficiency that causes the turtle shell to grow weak. It will cause immature death.

Next, you need to maintain the proper diet for turtles strictly. The diet chart will comprise protein sources and vegetables along with a good portion of commercial turtle food. You can choose Romanian lettuce and dandelion leaves as a natural source of vegetables.

For natural protein sources, I suggest boiled chickens, shrimps, insects, and mealworms. These are readily available in the turtle shop and serve as a high protein source.

Can Turtles Live Without Water?

As we already know that turtles can go a long time without food. But is it the same when it comes to water?

There are hundreds of examples where owners claimed that their turtle had survived months without proper or no food at all. But turtles’ survival chance without any water is short- maybe a few hours to a couple of days. Also, baby turtles have less control over their body and so will hardly survive a day or two without any water.

Final Words

Owning a turtle is a long-lasting commitment. Since turtles will probably live the entire of your lifespan, so, please don’t bring them at home unless you are confident and committed to petting them.

Also, when we talk about how long do pet turtles live, you need to know that the longest lifespan achieved by the turtles is only possible through proper care. Without a well-maintained tank and an adequate diet, the chances are high that the turtle will live only a few decades or even less.

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