Can Red-eared Slider Turtles Drown

Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Drown? An Investigation of Their Underwater Breath Holding Capabilities

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Can Red-eared Slider Turtles Drown - A Helpful GuideA common question that arises among turtle enthusiasts is if Red-eared slider turtles can drown and for how long they are able to hold their breath underwater. This article will explore these questions by investigating the breathing process of this species, as well as their physical characteristics to see how they compare to other types of turtles.

Red-eared slider turtles are semiaquatic, which means that they live in water and on land. They spend most of their time living underwater but will come up for air periodically throughout the day. This process is called surface respiration because it takes place at the top level of the body’s skin or carapace to extract oxygen from the air.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Drown?

The common misconception is that turtles can drown. The act of drowning occurs when a turtle’s head dips below the surface for too long which causes it to inhale water into its lungs. In comparison with other types of terrapins, Red-eared slider turtles are able to stay underwater for longer periods of time.

Technically yes a pet turtle could drown, but this is extremely rare and would have to be a freak accident where something pinned them down underwater.

Why Can't Turtles Drown?

Turtles are air-breathing creatures that need to surface for oxygen. They have a special gland that stores enough oxygen so they can hold their breath underwater for up to two hours!

red eared slider coming up for air

But turtles cannot stay submerged indefinitely and will eventually drown if left in water over this time limit. The turtle’s lungs work like bellows, pumping water into the lungs and expelling it in an effort to extract oxygen. The excess water is also expelled through a long tube, called the cloaca, located near their tail.

How Long Can Red-Eared Sliders Hold Their Breath Underwater?

This question is a bit more difficult to answer because there isn’t any data on the average breath-holding capacity for this species of turtle and it’s hard to measure in general as they don’t seem to have a set pattern.

However, it is estimated that Red-eared slider turtles are able to stay underwater for an average of 120 seconds before needing air.

How Many Times a Day Do Red-Eared Sliders Come Up for Air?

It is estimated that they will only need to surface between once every five minutes and two hours.

The average number capacity and not physical limitations or external factors such as how much they eat beforehand can affect their ability to hold their breath underwater.

Each turtle is a little bit different so it may take a while for you to understand and learn your turtles habits.

red eared slider in a tank

How Can I Tell if My Red-Eared Slider Is Breathing?

You can tell by watching the flaps on the sides of its shell. If they are in a resting position, this would indicate that it is underwater and not breathing air. 

Red-eared sliders have a respiratory system unlike any reptiles, relying on their cloaca as the organ for gas exchange. Their body will pump in fresh oxygenated water from its environment and it will also expel water containing carbon dioxide.

The cloaca is located at the bottom of the turtle’s tail, and it can be seen when a male turtle’s penis retracts into it. The cloaca will have one opening for both urination and defecation inside its cavity, although only water or waste will come out if turtles are underwater without breathing air first.

Do Turtles Have Lungs or Gills?

The Red-eared slider turtle relies on its lungs to breathe air and not water. Gills are a type of organ that is used by aquatic animals such as fish in order to extract oxygen from the surrounding water.

two red eared slider turtles

What Should I Do if My Turtle Dives Underwater for Too Long?

If your pet turtle has been submerged for too long, you can help it by giving him or her a gentle nudge with your hand. This will likely cause them to startle and come up for air.

If they are still being lethargic it may be a good idea to change their water and get new fresh water in the tank.

How Long Can Red Eared Sliders Stay Underwater?

Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat Underwater?

Yes, Red-eared slider turtles can eat underwater. They are able to store air in their stomach and intestines so that they don’t need to come up for air as frequently.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Sleep Underwater?

Red-ear slider turtles are capable of sleeping underwater. Their bodies will no longer need air for inhalation and exhalation while they rest so their breathing rate slows down considerably.

Turtles can sleep underwater by slowing their breathing rate and relying on the stored air in their stomachs. Turtles spend most of the day underwater, which can make it difficult to know when they are asleep.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Red-eared slider turtles are capable of holding their breath underwater for an average of 120 seconds without any physical limitations or external factors affecting them. The reason they’re able to hold their breath longer than other types of terrapins is that they have a more efficient breathing process that allows them to get oxygen from water via their lungs.

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