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How Long Can A Sea Turtle Hold Its Breath Underwater?

Sea turtles hold the ocean’s mysteries and never cease to amaze us. These sea turtles spend most of their life swimming underwater, and you’ll rarely see them on the shore. Isn’t it fascinating to think about How Long Can A Sea Turtle Hold Its Breath Underwater ? Or what is the species’ breathing technique?

Sea turtles can retain their breath for 4 to 7 hours on average. Some sea turtle species may stay underwater for up to ten hours. The amount of time the turtles can remain in the water while holding their breath is proportional to their level of physical activity.

How do sea turtles hold their breathing for such a long time? Is it possible for a marine turtle to run out of air and drown?

How Long Can A Sea Turtle Hold Its Breath?

How Long Can A Sea Turtle Hold Its Breath Underwater

Underwater, sea turtles will be unable to breathe. It’s because their biological mechanisms prevent them from engaging in such activities. Most sea turtles can descend 960 feet deep into the water, but leatherback sea turtles can dive 3000 feet deep by stopping their breath. Sea turtles may stay submerged for 45 minutes to 10 hours, as you may know.

A sea turtle’s breath can be held for up to ten hours. The amount of oxygen required by the body is determined by its activity level. The turtle’s body utilises more saved oxygen to break down into energy when it is most active, such as swimming or hunting.

A marine turtle can sustain its breath for 45 minutes in such conditions. The creature then rises to the surface, fills its lungs with air, and descends into the ocean’s depths. It’s a common occurrence for sea turtles.

The activity level of sea turtles is now lower when they sleep or rest. During those durations, these species’ metabolism slows, their heart rate reduces, and their oxygen consumption decreases. As a result, the turtles can rest or sleep for 4 to 10 hours while underwater.

Sea turtles’ average anticipated time spent underwater is 4 to 7 hours. Some species of sea turtles can hold their breath for a shorter period.

Sea turtles come in seven different species, and the period they can remain underwater varies somewhat between them. 

How Do Sea Turtles Breathe Underwater?

Sea turtles breathe air and have lungs for this function. Even though the shape of the lungs differs significantly from that of mammals, the gas exchange mechanism is the same. Sea turtles take in oxygen from the atmosphere and exhale CO2.

They have a large shell on their backs. As a result, their breathing is aided by the movement of their pelvic and shoulder girdle muscles. The plastron also helps to keep the lungs ventilated.

Sea turtles breathe air while rocking their shoulders. These muscular movements aid in the inhalation and exhalation of air by controlling lung pressure. Sea turtles do not become dormant during the winter. When the cold season arrives, they relocate to warmer water bodies.

How Sea Turtles Use The Air Underwater?

Another feature that sets turtles apart from other animals is that they are reptiles. Reptiles utilise the resources that the body requires to function uniquely. Reptiles, in general, may live much longer than other creatures while using fewer resources such as food, water, and air. And it’s all because of their poor metabolic rate.

The metabolic rate can be explained simply as the rate at which a body functions. A high metabolic rate indicates that an animal has a lot of energy and is very active, but it also suggests that it requires more food, water, and oxygen. A slow metabolic rate indicates that the mammal is less energetic; it will not always be active, but it will not require as much food, water, or air.

Astonishing Facts About Turtles Shells:-  What does a turtle look like without a shell ?

Can Sea Turtles Drown?

Sea turtles drown frequently. These organisms must come to the surface now and then to refuel their lungs. Eventually, the turtles will drown and perish in death’s embrace.

These turtles can become caught between rocks or in a fishing or crab-catching ghost net. Marine turtles attempt to escape in such confining environments.

Within minutes, a terrified turtle swallows the stored oxygen. They drown and die as a result.

Marine turtles usually mate for several hours in deep water. By hanging on the shell, the males approach the females from behind. Females must shoulder the burden of their partners, and the situation becomes stressful for them.

The partners must rise to the surface for breath because the mating lasts several hours. If the turtles do not arrive in time, they will certainly drown. According to a survey, sea turtles drown during mating regularly.


What is the maximum time a sea turtle can hold its breath? While maintaining its regular routine, a sea turtle can hold its breath for 45 minutes. The dive time can last up to 10 hours when you’re resting or sleeping. Rather than being a skilled swimmer, a sea turtle can drown if it loses out of oxygen while diving underwater.

FAQs How Long Can A Sea Turtle Hold Its Breath?

Que 1:- How long can a green sea turtle hold its breath?

Ans:- A green sea turtle can hold its breath for 5–8 hours.

Que 2:- How long can a sea turtle hold its breath?

Ans:- Sea turtles’ average anticipated time spent underwater is 4 to 7 hours. Some species can hold their breath for a shorter period of time.

Que 3:-How long can a loggerhead sea turtle hold its breath?

Ans:-A loggerhead sea turtle can hold its breath for 5–7 hours.

Que 4:-How long can a hawksbill sea turtle hold its breath?

Ans:- A hawksbill sea turtle can hold its breath for 5–8 hours.

Que 5:-Are sea turtles endangered species?

Ans:-Yes, most sea turtles are currently endangered. Several groups are working hard to assist sea turtles, but the outcomes are varied at the time. 

Hi, I'm Bhavesh Bhati thanks for visiting my blog! I've been traveling and exploring epic locations around the world for the last four years. I'm always looking for real adventures like treks, waterfalls, and Offroading!

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