Why Are Turtles Slow?

Why Are Turtles Slow

Among all the creatures that nature has ever made, turtles are one of the unique animals. Ranging from the habits to habitat, they seem to live a peaceful yet purposeful life. One of our most favorite childhood stories shared the concept that

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

Here, the character of the turtle won the competition despite being slow mainly because of its steadiness. That was truly inspiring for us in those days. There are several other animals as well which have variable speeds. The fastest animal leopard has the highest speed because of specific bodily mechanisms. 

When we talk about the speed of a turtle, everyone indeed wonders about why are turtles slow? For sure, this is something to ponder over. The massive research from the multiple resources revealed this secret which was obscure for years. 

Turtles have slow speed because they do not need to hunt hard for a living. Being omnivores, they find their food in the form of little herbs and insects. One more thing that contributes to their slow movement is that the turtles are slow metabolizers and hence the energy to speed up their action is not quickly deliverable. On examining its bodily structure, you will find out that turtles carry the massive burden of a shell on their back with small legs. 

Imagine yourself having a heavy load on your back, and you are asked to run. Seems to be futile? That’s what a mighty turtle would feel like. This type of nature reveals that they are peace lovers and hence in no competition with the rest of the world. Such a steady character they have!

How Do The Turtle Variate Their Speed According To The Ecological Scenario?

Different animals show different behavior with environmental changes. Nature has equally granted almost every animal a keen sense of adaption as per the ecological conditions. This is the reason why several species have survived for centuries while coming across random environmental fluctuations. Same is the case of turtles. Even though they are one of the slowest animals in terms of speed, they sometimes tend to behave differently. 

Turtles show ecological adaption in specific scenarios. In that case, they revert their slow pace to a faster one. They swim fast under water. Their speed reaches to 0.9 to 5.8 mph. When they are frightened, they speed up as high as 22 mph.

This behavior is confined to sea turtles.

What Happens If The Turtle Starts Moving Fast On Land?

Somethings are not destined to be achieved. Same is the case when after all the desperate tries, one could not build some indifferent features. As far as turtles are concerned, we know that you might have imagined the outcomes of swift movements of turtles on land. If turtles start to move fast, they will get injured by getting bruises and fractures. In severe cases, their shell even gets damage. Therefore, if you have your pet turtles, don’t expect them or reinforce to gain fast speed while resisting what nature has built-in them.

How Long Turtles Live?

If you still take turtles to be one of the casual animals, think again. To give a broader vision, we would like to showcase that despite their slow speed, they survive more than usual animals. Does this question remind you of the famous Disney Movie, The Nemo? Probably yes if you are Nemo fan, you already know the answer. But here we will answer this query with scientific evidence. Being slow metabolizers, and taking a light diet, turtles do not produce any harmful metabolites. This is the reason why it is claimed that they have a long life. On average, turtles can live up to 3 centuries. Indeed, this is massive! Therefore, next time when you an old turtle seek your attention, ask it about the stories and experiences of three centuries back.

How Much Can A Large Turtle Weigh Around?

The turtles have variable size and weight. It entirely depends on the specie you are researching about. As mentioned before, the slow speed of the turtle is also because of their heavy shell. Scientific evidence claim that a large size turtle can weigh between 600 to 2,000 pounds. Their size can grow up to 8 feet. That is quite astonishing for sure! The main contributing factor behind their weight is the shell at their back. It helps turtle to protect themselves from predators as well as the environmental hazards.

Do Turtles Make Noise?

After knowing about how peaceful the turtles are, you need to know that it is not only the speed which is slow but also the sound they make. Must you be amazed? You must be. Yes, turtles make noise. Although they are not as loud as most of the animals yet, they make sounds similar to those like clucks of chicken to the barks of dog. Sound intensity depends on the species of turtle. Therefore, the next time you take turtles as 100% peaceful think twice.

How Temperature Influence The Gender Of Turtles?

You might be hearing this for the first time. To widen the scale of your knowledge about turtles more than that of their speed, we want to draw your attention towards something unique. For sure, if you buy a pet turtle, you know its gender. If your female turtle lays eggs, the temperature will undoubtedly influence the gender of the off springs. Strange? But this is true. If the weather is cold, the hatched egg will produce male turtles. On the contrary, the high temperatures give rise to the female turtles out of the eggs. So, for the next time, you expect the egg’s resulting gender, be sure about the environmental temperature you are providing.

What Is The Age Of Sexual Maturity In Turtles?

As most of the turtles live for years, one can indeed wonder about their age at the time of becoming sexually mature. You will be amazed to know that they are not merely slow in terms of speed but also very slow in becoming sexually mature. You must be astonished! You must be. The age of sexual maturity in turtles is commonly 50 years. That is the time when they get inclined towards mating and reproduce. Don’t you dare to compare this feature to humans, we are not that slow at all!

Do Turtles Quickly Bite If They Feel Offended?

Although the turtles are regarded as one of the slowest animals, there are certain moments when turns even react at the fastest speed. No matter if the turtle is wild or tame, it is quick to bite your finger if they get offended. This is the time when they feel danger or want to protect their offsprings. Therefore, it is essential for you not to test the bearable limits of this slow creature. Otherwise, they can react in a way you don’t expect them to.

Is There Any Creature Which Is Slower Than A Turtle?

There are so many facts which give different reasons for the slow speed of turtles. But, are they indeed the slowest ones or there is something which they defeat in speed? So, the answer is, Yes! Turtles beat the sloths because they are even slower than the turtles with a rate of 1 mile per hour on land and 1.5 miles per hour underwater. Hence, you don’t need to curse turtles at least for being the slowest among all.


After speedy highlights of the non-speedy creatures The Turtles, you might be wondering about the versatility that nature has made in the world. End of the day, the uniqueness of the animals with their respective features is all that admires everyone. The greatest lesson to learn from these slow movers is that.

“Despite being the slowest and easily attackable, one should not underestimate their capabilities and steadily continue to survive at their own pace without getting inspired by the faster ones.”
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