Turtles are a broad group of animals, and they’ve existed on this earth for quite some time. There are over 300 different species, and each one has unique facts about its behaviors, diets, and appearances.
4 Incredible Turtle Facts!
- Though many people use the phrases “tortoise” and “turtle” interchangeably, they are not the same animal.
- Turtles don’t participate in hibernation like other reptiles.
- Most sea turtles abandon their eggs on the shore, allowing them to hatch on their own before making their way to the ocean.
- The average pet turtle has a lifespan of nearly 80 years with the right care.
Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan
The way that sea turtles and land-based turtles mate is a bit different. In the sea, the male approaches the female’s back while she is swimming, holding on with his claws. However, land-based turtles vary in their approach. Typically not mated for life, the species can be 5-10 years old before they are sexually mature enough to mate.
Since turtles are reptiles, they release eggs. Most sea turtles will lay their eggs on land and leave them behind, allowing their hatchlings to take care of themselves from birth. Other species will hold their eggs inside their body for up to two years before releasing them to hatch.
For the most part, these babies are called hatchlings. They are able to move and see within moments after they hatch, but they are quite weak. The sea turtles born on the beach and near water have to trek back to the water as quickly as possible to avoid the predators that are waiting to eat them.
The beach can be a dangerous place. They are out in the open until the sand meets the sea. Once they’ve left the beach, the turtles that show group behaviors will seek out a family, “adopting” a mother as their own in the sea.
The lifespan varies from one species to another. Even in captivity or as a pet, larger species can live for up to 100 years or more.