Skip to content

Why are Turtles so Slow; .1 – 2 MPH [ Updated 2022 ]

Why Are Turtles So Slow?

Why Are Turtles So Slow?

Turtles, why are they so slow? The slowest beings seem to be, don’t they? You may have seen someone talk about them as really being sluggish over the years. They might be right. There are sluggish turtles, turtles are just slow, and in the right circumstances, they can run very rapidly, especially when they run away from predators. 

 Any turtles can often move at rates close to those of racing cars as they attack. The only problem is that these speeds last only brief amounts of time. There’s a second time I’m talking about. We have multiple types of turtles, and each species travels at a specific rate; therefore, we can categorize them as either fast or too slow.

To understand which is the slowest turtle and which one is the quickest, keep reading. We will attempt to equate these turtles’ speeds with other species’ speeds to get a clearer sense of how agile they are. So, how sluggish are the turtles, or how fast?

The slowest turtle is reported to be running at a pace of 0.23 miles per hour, while the quickest will reach 2 miles per hour. That’s an immense difference. At 2 miles per hour, the fastest turtle can travel through the ocean. Turtles typically walk at a pace of around 3 to 4 miles per hour away from the quickest or slowest turtles and swim at around 10 to 12 miles/hour.  Turtles do not have to chase food.

Why Are Turtles So Slow?
Why Are Turtles So Slow?

Do turtles need to be fast? We don’t think turtles need to be swift since much of their survival requirements, such as their food, are stationary. The herbivores are turtles. From everywhere, they will feed on plants. Plants are accessible almost anywhere, and for them, this makes food convenient. Turtles can eat beetles and crickets and capture fish very quickly when it comes to nutrition. Without a challenge, their food is easy to obtain.

Another explanation of why turtles are slow is that their metabolism is slow. In deciding the pace of an animal, the rate of metabolism is a vital element. Although it is not, it may sound like a restriction. Take notice, due to their sluggish metabolism; turtles are among the species that survive very long lives.

Another explanation is that, as most species do, turtles don’t need to move away from too many predators. Turtles are peaceful animals, and to preserve critical organs, they have strong shells. These dense shells make threats hard to harm them.

The predators would normally leave them alone much of the time. So, the explanation of why they are sluggish essentially centers around their evolution. Other aspects that are more critical than speed were discovered, and their bodies adapted.

Why are Turtles so Slow / What Is the Slowest Turtle?

The slowest turtle is the giant Galapagos tortoise, with a maximum speed of around 0.3 miles per hour, equal to 0.5 km/h. It is the highest pace reported by turtles. He needs to be faster in the bath than that. They provided that he can weigh up to around ( 600 lbs) 300 kgs and with a length of 1.9 meters, we cannot blame it on the turtle. When fully grown, the turtle is enormous. No creatures, thus, pose some threat to him.

Therefore, he should walk as slowly as he wants. Its sluggish speeds can sound like a downside, but the turtle may survive for up to 150 years on the brighter side due to its slow metabolism. You can hardly find a human being with that lifespan.  Rapid metabolic rates contribute to harmful metabolic products being released, which speeds up aging.

What Is a Turtle’s Top Speed?

Several varieties of turtles exist. Along with their average speeds, we will list them down and attempt to equate these velocities with different creature velocities.

  • Turtle of the Green Shore- 19 mph. 100-300kgs Weighs
  • Kemp’s sea turtle ridley-17mph. 40-80kgs Weights
  • Sea Turtle Loggerhead- 15mph. 150-600kgs Weights
  • Water Turtle Flatback- 15mph. 80-120kgs Weights
  • Sea Turtle olive ridley- 17mph. 35-45mph Weighs
  • Water Turtle of Hawksbill- 15mph. 80-120kgs Weights
  • Sea turtle leatherback- 22mph. 250-750kgs Weights

In the World, What are the Slowest Species

  • American Woodcock  5 – mph
  • Seahorse 0.01 – mph
  • Giant Galapagos Tortoise 1 – mph
  • Banana Slug  0.000023 – m/s
 Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)
Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)

Can Turtles Move Fast?

Just like any animal, turtles can sprint. It relies on the circumstances. Any of them can move quickly for their life when turtles are threatened/ startled. The slider turtles and Cooter are a fine example. If they are startled onshore, the turtles will sprint into the sea. Shooting for the ocean,

  At many miles per hour, their speeds climb . The tortoise groper often comes under the same range. They run to safety when they feel endangered. While turtles can move fast if needed., they can’t equate their speed to that of a human being.

What’s the Fastest Turtle in the World?

Turtles travel on land more slowly, than they do in the sea. So which turtle holds the record for maximum speed? The soft-shelled turtle is the quickest turtle on land as of now. This turtle moved at a speed of 3 miles per hour, equal to a human being’s average walking rate.

What kind of rush was that for? Is it to flee for safety? I’m just not aware. A guy who estimated the distance and the time it took for the turtle to hit the other end determined this pace. We think their flight for survival,  is the explanation behind that pace. They have soft bodies, much like their names, which makes them very light in comparison to other turtles.

There are several drawbacks of the lightweight shell, such as being vulnerable to pathogens and predator assaults. They take advantage of their pace to defeat assaults. Other swift turtles do live. For, e.g., while chasing a female turtle, most male turtles would be quick.

We are not sure if this is accurate, but when striking, the snapping turtle is said to reach up to a pace of 174 miles per hour.

 Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)
Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)

It’s as good as a race car at this pace. You don’t see them running as much, and they’re just going to move less than a second at these speeds.

Who Is the Sea’s Quickest Turtle?

Thanks to their adaptations, turtles are quick in the water. The quickest turtle is the leatherback turtle in the sea. This turtle can hit an hourly pace of up to 22 miles.

Due to its flippers, gives them,  fast travel in the water. Over the years, sea turtles have grown flippers to help in their swimming. There are no flippers for ground turtles, which renders them somewhat sluggish relative to sea turtles—the leatherback turtle ranks among the water’s strongest reptiles.

Why are so Sluggish Tortoises?

As they don’t need to be fast, turtles are very slow. They don’t require speed to escape predators. For protection, they carry their own armor, thick shells.  They still have stationery food, Plants, so they don’t have to scramble around for food.

Why Do Turtles Have Shells?

To enable them to protect their essential inner organs, turtles have thick shells. Their primary role is that. They’re big and generally heavy,  and they make them sluggish.

Turtles are reptiles, surrounding their body with boney or cartilaginous shells. Through its ribs, the turtle’s shell is formed and develops with the turtle throughout its lifespan. On the scutes (scales) surrounding the body, growth rings can be seen in some turtles. In South Carolina, turtles are present in various environments, including the seas, coastal lakes and waterways, dry sandhills, and woodland.

Turtle Species Information

Turtles belong to the order (order is a grouping level used by scientists) Testudines (sometimes named Chelonia) since they are reptiles are in the Reptilia class. They are cold-blooded like snakes. This implies the temperature of the body depends on the temperature of the surroundings.

There are about 250 turtle species (which is quite a lot, considering only about 3 million species of everything in total). These reptiles are broken into about 12 families.

anywhere in the world, except Antarctica, turtles can be found. They exist in various environments. Although specific turtles live in the oceans, others live in wetlands, rivers, or even in the world’s hottest deserts.

 Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)
Why Are Turtles So Slow_ (4)

Exoskeleton turtles. The bone system is like an exoskeleton, except it is on the outside of the body. The exoskeleton is regarded as a shield as well. The shell is fused to the ribs and the backbone and is protected with broad plates or skutes. The shell’s top is domed and is known as the carapace. The section at the bottom is smooth, called the plastron.

A turtle’s shell may be either sturdy or fragile. Some are wide, and some are small. Snapping turtles have thin shells, and there are very light shells for sea turtles. Many turtles found in the ocean have soft shells; others are also referred to as “leatherback” for their soft shells. Turtles that live on land and tortoises typically have rigid shells. These Turtles lack horny plates and softshells, but they have leathery flesh.

Turtles are 200 million years old and up. This indicates there were turtles around while the dinosaurs were here! To support this, fossils have been discovered.

Both Types of turtles are toothless but have a beak that is sharp-edged so they can feed. This works quite well, especially for the Snapping Turtle,  which can bite off a human finger in a single bite. Often, turtles have a strong sense of scent and eyesight. By the difference in plastrons, they may be sexually differentiated. Males have concave plastrons, whereas females have smooth ones.

Science of Turtle Motion

According to Scholars, depending on their terrain, turtles vary in their movements. Turtles normally walk on the tip of their toes on land and travel very slowly, but the smooth shell and webbed feet of a turtle in water allow it to move more freely, in water. Few freshwater turtles are also able to run quicker than land turtles on land.

Some turtles move very rapidly. They are soft-shelled and, rather than horny scales, have leathery skin protecting their bony plates. Owing to their heart-shaped bodies and front flippers being longer than their hind ones, some forms, such as sea turtles . According to Oceana, the Hawksbill sea turtle pushes its flippers diagonally in opposite directions while walking onshore.

Motion Replaces the absence of Lungs

Furthermore, Scholars notice that some land turtles, such as the box turtle, not only claw on the deck but collapse on their backs repeatedly. Many turtles like to rise to the surface of the water, so they need to fill their lungs with oxygen. This is the same with tortoises that do not have a diaphragm; to move air between their lungs, they need to move their front legs in and out. Similarly, slow-moving may be induced by a tortoise’s weight; those living in the Galapagos Islands weigh 500 pounds.

Turtle Predators

The giant predator of turtles is humans, liable for the unwavering collapse of uncountable populations of turtles. Choking and strangling threats from our goods and global warming and climate change are pushing multiple animals towards extinction due to our livestock production and coal consumption practices. Turtles are defenseless against this predator, like many other species.  they will try to run away from predators.

Like most predators, this relies on the turtle’s size and environment. Big birds such as falcons and storks are a risk to turtles who are smaller, typically river-sized. Incredibly fragile are baby turtles, becoming victim to bullfrogs, big fish, and several river species.

Alligators and crocodiles are intimidating more giant river turtles since they can crunch through their immense biting force right through their shells. Larger mammals that get attached to the river bank are also attacking them. A turtle’s shell will not do when it comes to these predators, and they will have to turn to attentiveness, disguise, and rapid flight.

Baby sea turtles are consumed with nearly all, from crabs and vultures on the bay’s coast to the ocean’s bigger fish. They focus on reaching and resting on kelp floating across the ocean and consuming crustaceans and kelp from it. For a reasonably slow swimmer without a real defensive system, any small excursion is a significant risk. But only a few species are willing to kill it as a turtle beats the odds (1/1000 estimated to live to adulthood).  They need to run away from predators on the beach.

One of the only predators preying on turtles were the more giant sharks and killer whales. It can be eaten alive and crunched by killer whales, while a shark can rip off its flippers and bite its shell. Yet turtles already have an excellent method of protection against sharks.

You know, a shark can bite a turtle’s shell when it’s smooth, so it can use its shell as a barrier when a turtle rotates sideways to keep the shark from biting. To learn just how it does, watch this video

Often, a sea turtle could battle a shark in deeper water, and they tend to deliberately bite sharks in their gills, where it hurts the most. The shell of a turtle is a masterpiece of evolution. It offers excellent security for the turtle from otherwise harmful species that may qualify as predators.

But for a turtle that falls prey to a predator, it also typically implies a very miserable death. There is no quick demise for a turtle, and above all, not any baby turtles live to adulthood. It’s more than enough to withstand what they go through in the wild; the least they deserve is a destructive predator with unstoppable greed.

How Do Sea Turtles Avoid Predators?

At their hatchling time, most turtles are pre-dated. Their small size and limited swimming ability allow them easy targets from their nest to the ocean for crabs, sea birds, and wild and domestic mammals. At this point, coordinated, mass hatching is their crucial tactic to escape predators. When in the ocean, carnivorous fish, sea birds, and just about every species with a large appetite and a big mouth are always heavily pre-dated by hatchlings!

The hard-shell offers them protection against animal threats when they get older, rendering them more dangerous to consume. The primary enemies of adult sea turtles are sharks and killer whales. It is challenging to research shark avoidance by sea turtles in the wild because much of what we know is to experience how sea turtles act with these sharks specifically.

It is impossible to witness interactions between sharks and turtles since shark stocks are already seriously reduced across the globe.

Some studies looking at turtle diving actions, however, indicate that green turtles’ U-shaped dives can act as both resting dives and predator avoidance, while a slow approach to the surface to breathe enables the turtles to search the area for predators before surfacing using a passive ascent under positive buoyancy.

Sea turtles have been seen shifting their shell to the mouth of the shark when it threatens whether an assault is imminent, thereby stopping the shark from attacking their flippers or soft tissues and moving swiftly in the other direction.

Life Cycle of Turtle

The Egg-Phase

To lay eggs, sea turtles favor warm beaches. The female turtle lays her eggs in a nest on a beach after fertilization. The female turtle has the potential to lay between 100 and 200 eggs . She digs a shore-side hole, filling it with sand. Depending upon the insect, the period for the eggs to hatch differs.

Hatchlings emerge from the eggs after six weeks to about two months. There is an egg tooth or caruncle for the baby turtles that they use to crack the eggshell, get out of the shells, and reach the sea.

Why Are Turtles So Slow?
Why Are Turtles So Slow?

The Hatchlings-Phase

After six weeks to two months, hatchlings or infant turtles hatch, they are fully autonomous after the baby turtles have hatched and do not need parental oversight. Drifting through the ocean waves, the infant turtles spend an extended period.

They feed on tiny organisms found on floating algae during this time. This point in the life of a turtle differs, depending on the species and food supply. Young turtles go back to the shore for some time and settle down before entering the adult level. The young turtles are still mobile at this point, migrating from one ocean to the other. This stage in the life of a turtle could last for as long as a decade.

The Adult-Phase

After nearly 10 to 50 years of hatching, turtles are sexually mature and enter maturity, based on species. The adult turtles change from their current position to the mating ground at this time. To lay eggs, only female turtles come ashore. Wherever they mate and eat, male turtles migrate.

During ovulation, the female adult turtle is capable of holding the sperm in the oviduct. These female turtles return every two to four years to the coast where they were born and laid eggs. Then the whole cycle of life again continues.

How Far do Sea turtles Travel?

Many turtle species migrate long distances every few years for a breeding migration after achieving maturity (from their feeding grounds to their breeding sites and back). These migrations take many months and can be hundreds or thousands of kilometers long.

In pursuit of jellyfish, the leatherback turtle will fly 16,000 km (10,000 miles) or more per year, covering the whole Pacific Ocean, while loggerheads have been recorded from Japan to Baja, a distance of 13,000 km (8,000 miles).

What are Green Sea Turtles?

Green Sea Turtles are found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are large sea turtles, averaging about three feet in carapace length and weighing up to 400 pounds. The most distinguishing feature of the Green Sea Turtle is its bright green coloration.

The distances they travel and the speed at which they migrate are still being studied, but it is known that they migrate long distances between their feeding and nesting grounds.

They spend their entire lives in the ocean, except for females who come ashore to lay eggs.

What is the Leatherback Sea Turtle?

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest of all living turtles and is also the deepest diving sea turtle. It can weigh up to two thousand pounds and reach a length of over six feet. The Leatherback’s most distinguishing feature is its lack of a hard shell. Instead, it has a tough leathery skin that allows it to dive to great depths.

Leatherback turtles are found in all the world’s oceans, but they migrate long distances to find the right nesting beaches.

They lay their eggs in sand nests that they dig with their hind flippers.

They are called leatherbacks because of their tough leathery skin.

Although they spend most of their time in the oceans have been known to travel up rivers to find food.

What are Box Turtles?

Box Turtles are small to medium-sized turtles, averaging six to eight inches in carapace length. They are found throughout the eastern and central United States. Box Turtles are easily recognized by their bright orange or yellow coloration and hinged shell.

Box turtles live in a wide variety of habitats, including forests, fields, wetlands, and urban areas.

They are mostly terrestrial (land-dwelling), but they also spend time in the water.

Box turtles hibernate during the winter months by burying themselves in the ground.

They travel extremely slow, only about 0.01 miles per hour.

What are Softshell Turtles?

Softshell Turtles are a group of turtles that lack a hard shell. Instead, they have soft, leathery skin. Softshell Turtles are found in North America, Asia, and Africa. They are the most aquatic of all the turtles and can be found in both fresh and saltwater.

Softshell Turtles are the most aquatic of all turtles, spending the majority of their time in the water. They have a soft, leathery shell that is easily damaged.

Softshells are found in North America and Asia.

They eat a wide variety of items, including plants, animals, and carrion.

Softshell Turtles are oviparous (lay eggs). Females lay their eggs in a nest that they dig in the sand or mud.

Why are Turtles so slow?

Turtles have many features that make them well-adapted for life on land. Their hard shell protects them from predators and the elements, they can travel long distances, and they are able to hibernate.

However, their slow speed limits their ability to move quickly in response to threats or changes in their environment. Additionally, their lack of a hard shell makes them vulnerable to attack by predators.

Turtles have been around for over 200 million years and are currently found on every continent except Antarctica. Although their slow speed makes them vulnerable to predators, it has also helped them survive for millions of years.


Turtles are aquatic animals that pass much of their time isolated. On the top of the water or at the bottom , beneath the gravel, turtles prefer to sleep. Turtles waste much of their time mating from one ocean to another and migrating.

5 thoughts on “Why are Turtles so Slow; .1 – 2 MPH [ Updated 2022 ]”

  1. Extended Opportunity

    Are you still using Calendly to schedule your calls and meetings?

    If your answer is yes, then you are actually hurting your business not helping it…

    Calendly is limited, doesn’t unlock the full potential of your business…

    And to make matters worse, they charge you monthly…

    What a joke…

    But you don’t have to worry, because my good friend Kundan is about to change the entire market …

    You see, he just launched his newest creation AI Calenderfly…

    The world’s first appointment-setting app that is fully powered by AI…

    It will do all of the heavy lifting for you on complete autopilot…

    AI meeting scheduling
    AI reminders
    AI tracking
    And much much more

    You can even accept payments live, and collect leads…

    But it gets even better…

    You don’t have to pay a penny in monthly fees…

    Click here to watch AI Calenderfly in action and secure your copy at the lowest price possible…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *