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Turtles are one of the most long-lived animals on earth, with some turtles living up to 150 years. But why do turtles live so long?
In this article, we explore six secrets that turtles have used over time for longevity. Turtles seem like they’ve got it all figured out when it comes to aging gracefully and living a long life!
Turtles Grow Slower than other Animals
Turtles have a low metabolic rate, which means they are less active and thus require fewer calories to survive. This slows the process of aging in turtles because it reduces their need for food and oxygen
Turtles live an average of about 100 years, but it may be more. The turtles grow slower than other animals so they have a longer lifespan This is because turtles are cold blooded and need to conserve energy during the day when their body temperature rises too high as well as in colder climates where turtles spend most of the year dormant.
Turtles have a Reduced Metabolic Rate as they Age
Turtles’ metabolic rate is low, which means they are less active and require fewer calories to live. This slows the process of aging in turtles because it reduces their need for food and oxygen. Turtle’s slow metabolism also helps them survive cold climates where turtles spend most of the year dormant.
Metabolic rate is thought to be inversely proportional to maximum lifespan. This means that anything with a faster metabolism and faster cell turnover will have a shorter lifespan while those that have a slower metabolic rate live slower and longer.
Turtles Don’t Need to Expend Energy on Reproduction
This means they get to focus their energy efforts to other bodily functions that help keep them happy and healthy for long periods. The less bodily resources that turtles and other animals send to the reproductive organs, the more those resources can be focused on cell repair and growth.
Turtles also get more chances at procreating with their long lifespans. Turtles live in some harsh conditions which can make breading successfully difficult. When it comes to water turtles, males won ‘t able to bread until they are at least three years old, and females will need to be five years old.
Some sea turtles can take even longer to reach mating maturity. The green sea turtle can take 24-28 years to mature and be able to breed.
Turtle Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Turtles are omnivores and need to eat both plants and animals. Their diets are high in antioxidants and low in fat and cholesterol. They also get plenty of healthy fat from the small fish that they eat.
Turtles are also more sedentary and even when they do move, they don’t move fast requiring large amounts of energy. Turtles have a low metabolism rate of around 0.14 kilocalories per hour.
Turtles are also cold blooded and have a very slow internal temperature shift. The less temperature changes that occur in the body the less resources are used up in maintaining a certain core temperature.
Turtles Don't Get Cancer or Other Illnesses
Turtles don’t get cancer or heart disease and other major diseases because of their slower growth rate, which means that cells have more repair time to keep functioning properly.
Turtles don’t get regular illnesses, and their long life span can be attributed in part to a lack of predators.
In the wild turtles are very resilient so they’re not often in contact with illnesses. turtles can get colds, but this is rare.
Turtles’ turtles’ current predators are humans and water pollutants. They are also hunted for the food and pet trade.
Sea turtles are hunted for their meat which is considered a delicacy in many countries. The turtles’ shells have also been turned into jewelry, musical instruments, and ornaments. Females of the species are highly targeted because they’re more fertile than males and can lay eggs every two to three years when conditions like temperature and moon phases are right.
Hopefully this article has taught you turtles live a long time for 6 main reasons. They have done a great job at using their biology and physiology to extend their lifespan. They are one of the coolest and amazing animals on the planet!