Can Sea Turtles Live on Land?

sea turtle on land

Turtles are among the most popular pets in the world. After all, it’s very easy to care for them. Some potential turtle owners want to take it one step further by choosing a sea turtle, and not a land turtle, as a pet. This is why they’re asking this question – can sea turtles live on land?


Some Facts about Sea Turtles

One look at them and you just know that they’re built for the sea. Just like their cousin, the land turtles, they’re reptiles. But while land turtles are built for living on land, sea turtles are built for swimming and living at sea.


The first thing that you’ll probably notice is the feet. Unlike the feet of land turtles that are more upright, the feet of sea turtles are more like flippers. This is what they use to swim in the sea. Speaking of swimming, they also have a more streamlined back that allows them to swim faster and with less effort.


They can Go on Land


Sea turtles do go out on land. However, they do this out of necessity so they can lay their eggs. The whole process of digging a hole, laying their eggs, and covering the hole takes a lot of time. This means that they can survive on land just like other reptiles.


However, going is different from living. So can sea turtles live on land? They’re not going to gasp for breath and jump around until they die just like a fish if they’re out on land. They can breathe air and this explains why they go to the surface in order to breathe. However, they’re not suited for living on land.


It’s Not a Good Idea to Force them to Live on Land


First of all, their flippers are not designed for walking. It requires a lot of effort for them to move on land with those flippers and their underbelly will come in contact with land too much. Also, they can’t retreat their head, feet and tail into their shell which is a known defense mechanism of land turtles. They’ll be at a disadvantage from the get-go due to this.


So what’s the final answer to the question, can sea turtles live on land? Theoretically, they can, but they won’t last long. They’re called sea turtles for a reason. This is because they’re built for living in the sea. They can get injured or worse, die, if they’re forced to live on land for a very long time.

Here is what a sea turtle looks like on land.

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