How Long Do Turtles Live?

Small turtle with red and yellow stripes walking in grass

It goes without saying that often live longer than many other types of pets. Some tortoise species can live for 100 years or longer. Many variables can affect how long your pet turtle lives, however some common kinds of aquatic may survive into their 40s. The longevity of your turtle depends on its species, food, and other environmental factors that you may influence.

The bottom line is that most turtles will easily live at least a few decades if they survive past the first few years of life.

Determining Your Turtle's Lifespan

Determine the species of your turtle before trying to determine how long it could live. If given the correct care, red-eared sliders can live into their 30s. It's very likely that your turtle or tortoise will outlast you because they may easily live into their 50s and even 80s. It's time to write that will! (I'm not kidding.)

Typical Lifespans of Popular Pet Turtles in Captivity
Red-Eared Slider 25 to 35 years
Map Turtle 15 to 25 years
Wood Turtle 40 to 55 years
Eastern Box Turtle 50+ years
Painted Turtle 25 to 30 years
Russian Tortoise 40+ years
Greek Tortoise 100 years or more
Leopard Tortoise 100 years or more

Long life spans are possible for larger turtles and tortoises. The smaller species, which are more frequently kept as pets, have shorter lifespans, though they can still live for many years. Numerous accounts exist of tortoises that have survived for about 200 years (or even more). Since the tortoises undoubtedly outlived their owners, it is difficult to confirm these statements. The longest-living tortoise known to science is Adwaita, a giant tortoise from the Aldabra species. If reports are to be accepted, Adwaita passed away at the age of 255 while living in an Indian zoo. There is no proof of these dates.

Timothy, a gigantic tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, died at the age of 160. Jonathan, a giant tortoise from the Seychelles, died at the age of 187. And Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise, died at the age of 188. The majority of these dates are only guesses that cannot actually be verified.

The Keys to Your Turtle's Health

Of course, providing your turtle with a nutritious food is crucial to ensuring that it lives a long and healthy life. Species differences in diet make a big difference. Fish and meat are the main foods for several animals, such as the softshell turtle. Some species, like the red-eared slider, consume a combination of fish, vegetables, and insects.

Do thorough study on the best nutrition for your new pet turtle. Although the precise ratios and kinds of commercial turtle pellets and fresh meals will differ greatly, many turtles thrive on a combination of both. One of the most prevalent health issues for pet turtles is vitamin A deficiency, which may be prevented with a healthy diet. When housed inside without access to a UV light, calcium shortage, which is frequently caused by vitamin D deficiency, is a serious issue that can result in soft and stunted development in turtles and tortoises.

A healthy turtle consists of more than just a balanced diet. Make sure your turtle is receiving regular veterinary treatment. Maintaining your turtle's health will also be made easier with a clean habitat and ample room. Stress and unsanitary living circumstances can significantly reduce the lifespan of your turtle. Your turtle needs to be at the right temperature to stay content and healthy.

Common Threats

Know the common ailments that pose a hazard to your particular turtle species. This will assist you in learning how to avoid them or identify the signs quickly. Infections in the shell, respiratory infections, parasites, and abscesses are all very typical in pet turtles. While shell infections typically result from contaminated water or an injury, abscesses and respiratory infections are frequently related to a vitamin A deficit. Unless your veterinarian does routine fecal testing for your pet, you generally won't discover parasites.

When compared to their counterparts that live indoors, outdoor turtles and tortoises are more susceptible to predators and the elements. Make sure your pond or habitat is protected from predators and the elements. The daily hazards for an outdoor turtle are significantly higher than the dangers for an indoor turtle. Animals and other pets may consume or bother a turtle kept outside. Make sure your pet cannot tunnel under the fencing and leave the habitat. Keep wild creatures away from your pet so they can't become sick.


"Common Diseases of Aquatic Turtles.VCA Animal Hospitals.", "What is Metabolic Bone Disease. National Marine Life Center. " ;