Do Turtles Hibernate? Amazing Facts On Turtle Hibernation Revealed! | Kidadl


Do Turtles Hibernate? Amazing Facts On Turtle Hibernation Revealed!

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Turtles are cold-blooded creatures who protect their bodies from cold temperatures by digging burrows and staying warm during cold months.

Turtles mostly spend their time underwater during the winter season. During the winter season, the metabolism of the body drops to match its surroundings, and thus, they do not require oxygen to breathe, just as they do require air to breathe when on land.

As turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, their body temperature is completely dependent on the environment in which they live during cold weather conditions. The turtles winter underwater because, during the cold winters, the water temperature is the same and acts as an insulator for them. So, now you must be wondering how they breathe air if they spent the winter underwater. So, the bodies of turtle species such as painted turtles, box turtles, and snapping turtles do not require oxygen to survive under cold water during the winter season. Red-eared sliders brumate in the mud swampy areas and breathe oxygen by coming to the surface for a while. Turtles' bodies' metabolisms change according to the environment, and thus, turtles can survive in cold water by dropping their body temperature. So, this slow metabolism is often thought to be hibernation by many people, but this is actually the body of turtles that takes a change according to the water temperature.

If you enjoy reading this article about these cold-blooded animals and the hibernating-like sleep pattern of turtle species, then do read some interesting and surprising fun facts about if turtles have teeth and if turtles shed.

How long do turtles hibernate?

The turtles become motionless for two to six months and stay warm under the mud or water during the winter season.

Usually, turtles do not hibernate and their bodies become unconscious for a particular period of time because the metabolism of the body drops down to meet with the environment. Turtles' motionless body conditions are assumed by many to be going through hibernation, but due to their slow metabolism, the blood vessels of the turtles become less functional to adjust to the temperature of the winter season. Box turtle species are known to become motionless from October and November until February and April. The blood vessels of painted turtles and snapping turtles become less active from October until March.

Do turtles hibernate in the winter?

A turtle's body becomes lifeless during winter due to its slow metabolism. Turtle species remain underwater at the bottom of the pond or river.

Yes, most turtle species, such as snapping turtles and painted turtles become motionless during the winter season because they are cold-blooded animals. The lactic acid buildup in the turtles' muscles makes it difficult for them to move. So, they often come to bask in the sun to make their shell stronger and gain calcium from the sunlight, which further enables them to spend the rest of their winter season.

The lactic acid is similar to that which is created in humans' muscles. The painted turtle species goes through brumation rather than hibernation. During this period, the painted turtle species use their cloaca to breathe oxygen and survive the harsh temperatures. Cloacal respiration is well known among turtles as a way of breathing oxygen.

Hibernating turtle species are rare enough to be evident, and they prefer to sleep in an unconscious state.

Where do turtles hibernate?

Turtles mostly go down the bottom of the sea, river, or pond during the winter season or cold temperatures.

Turtles are able to survive the cold temperatures only because of their semi-aquatic lifestyle. It is believed that some turtles can survive up to 100 days underwater and breathe oxygen with the help of their cloaca because the blood vessel concentration is greater in their cloaca rather than in their lungs. The oxygen is taken through the cloaca and is called cloaca respiration. The oxygen level in the water is lower and so does the same in the case of turtles.

The slow energy level and low metabolism allow them to survive in the water, but this is not the same for all types of turtle species. Box turtles are known to dig mud burrows and breathe oxygen that rises to the surface simply by lifting their heads in the air. The box turtle's body remains underground in the mud burrows. It is not possible for the turtle species to survive long winters and cold temperatures.

Is my turtle dead or hibernating?

If you own a pet turtle, then just poke the turtle. It will definitely make some sort of response to the disturbance created, and hence, you will know whether it is dead, sleeping, or going through brumation.

The swinging lifeless body and limp legs are signs that the turtle might be dead and not brumating. When a turtle is going through brumation, it does not mean it will completely become motionless. They do have control of their body parts and can make movements with their legs and hands if they are disturbed by human activity.

The very first sign of death would be no response when being touched. Second, the turtle might feel cold when they are being touched. Third, they might smell bad and have sunken eyes. When turtles are dead, some flies or ants might be around them. Fourth, the turtles' shells might rot. If the turtle's body is cold, then first you need to check their breathing before you think of anything else. Apart from this, the skin of the turtle might loosen up and shrivel with a drooping head.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for whether turtles hibernate, then why not take a look at 15 mind-blowing facts on shamisen traditional music instruments or Neolithic tools and stone weapon facts explained for kids?

Isn’t it great to have someone on the team who is always ready to learn and a great mentor? Meet Anamika, an aspiring educator and a learner who makes the best of her skills and potential to make her team and organization grow. She has finished her graduation and post-graduation in English and even earned a Bachelor’s of Education from Amity University, Noida. Because of her constant urge to learn and grow, she has been a part of many projects and programs, which have helped her hone her writing and editing skills.

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