How Long Do Softshell Turtles Live?

Turtles have always fascinated humans with their unique features, slow pace of life, and longevity. Have you ever wondered How Long Do Softshell Turtles Live?

How Long Do Softshell Turtles Live
How Long Do Softshell Turtles Live

Softshell turtles can live for quite a while in captivity. Their lifespan is much shorter in the wild due to predation and other dangers. The average softshell turtle will live for 20-30 years, though some have been known to reach 50 to 400 years.

In this blog post, we will explore the lifespan of softshell turtles and what factors influence their survival rate. So buckle up, and let’s delve into the world of these fascinating creatures!

What is a Softshell Turtle?

The softshell turtle is a species of freshwater turtle that is native to North America. The softshell turtle gets its name because its shell is soft and flexible, unlike the hard surfaces of other turtles. The softshell turtle is aquatic and spends most of its time in water.

However, the softshell turtle can also be found on land, basking in the sun or searching for food. The lifespan of a softshell turtle varies depending on the species, but most live for 20 to 30 years.

The Lifespan Of A Softshell Turtle

There are many different softshell turtles species, each with a different expected lifespan. Here is a table of Some common softshell turtle species and their expected lifespans:

Softshell Turtle Species Expected Lifespan
Painted Softshell Turtle 15- 20 years
Spotted Softshell Turtle  10 – 15 years
Smooth Softshell Turtle  20 – 30 years 
Florida Softshell Turtle 25 – 30 years
Gulf Coast Softshell Turtle 20 – 25 years
Chinese Softshell Turtle  25 – 30 years
Okinawa Softshell Turtle 10 – 15 years
Indian Softshell Turtle 20 – 25 years
African Helmeted Turtle 25 – 30 years
Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle 20 – 30 years
Rough Softshell Turtle  30+ years
Gibbs’s Softshell Turtle  30+ years
Razorback Softshell Turtle  20 – 30 years
Indian nanarrow headedoftshell turtle70 to 140 years
Yangtze softshell turtle90 to 400 years

What Affects The Life Expectancy Of A Softshell Turtle?

There are a few things that can affect the life expectancy of a softshell turtle:

1. Diet:

A healthy, balanced diet is essential for any turtle to live a. Ng softshell turtles need a variety of foods, such as aquatic insects and fish, to remain healthy.

2. Environment:

The temperature and habitat of a softshell turtle are very important factors that will affect its lifespan. It needs clean water to live, and the turtle may not survive for very long if the environment isn’t suitable.

3. Predation:

Softshell turtles are vulnerable to predators, especially during their juvenile stage when they are small enough to become a meal for other animals.

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If they don’t have suitable hiding places and protection from predators, such as an artificial pond or lake-side shelter, their life expectancy may be considerably shortened.

4. Health Conditions:

Softshell turtles can suffer from diseases and parasites that can reduce their lifespan significantly if left untreated or without proper care. Regular veterinary check-ups are one way of helping your pet turtle stay healthy and live longer.

5. Genetics:

Genetics are also a significant factor in life expectancy for softshell turtles, as some species may be more prone to certain diseases or health problems than others.

6. Maintenance:

Providing adequate maintenance for softshell turtles to ensure their long-term health is important.

This includes providing clean water, a proper diet, shelter, and suitable temperatures. All of these can help improve the life expectancy of your turtle.

Does A Captive Softshell Turtle Live Longer Than A Wild One?

A captive softshell turtle usually lives longer than a wild one. In the wild, these turtles often fall prey to predators or die from injuries sustained during fights with other turtles.

They also may not have access to the same food and water quality as they would in captivity. As a result, captive softshell turtles typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, while wild ones only live 10 to 15 years on average. 

One important factor to consider is that captive turtles must receive the proper care, including regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet, to live a long and healthy life.

Without these things, even a captive turtle can exhibit health issues resulting from improper nutrition, the lack of sunlight or flooded habitats — all of which can reduce their lifespan.

Therefore, it’s essential to provide your pet softshell turtle with quality care to maximize its chances of reaching its full potential lifespan.

How To Ensure Your Softshell Turtle A Long And Healthy Life?

Assuming you have already obtained a softshell turtle, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your pet turtle has a long and healthy life.

  1. Turtles are generally quite hardy animals and can live in many habitats, so provide your turtle with the largest enclosure possible.
  2. Provide your turtle with ample amounts of clean, dechlorinated water for swimming and basking spots in the enclosure to regulate its own body temperature.
  3. Turtles are omnivores, so feed them an appropriate diet of both plants and animal proteins. You can also give them occasional treats such as earthworms or small fish.
  4. Ensure that the environment you provide for your turtle is free from bacteria and other diseases by regularly cleaning the enclosure, filtering the water, and performing periodic health checks on your turtle or visiting a vet for additional care.
  5. Provide proper UV lighting to the enclosure, preferably full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, to help with their calcium absorption and vitamin D production needed for healthy bones, shell growth, and overall health.
  6. Do not handle your turtle too often; turtles are wild animals that may become stressed out if handled too much. Let them get used to you before trying to handle them more regularly, as they adapt better this way.
  7. If a softshell turtle becomes injured or develops an infection, consult a vet immediately to ensure proper treatment and recovery from any injury or disease common among pet reptiles, including softshell turtles.

Following these steps will provide your turtle with the best care possible and help it live a long and healthy life.

Softshell Turtle Facts: BIGGEST freshwater TURTLE | Animal Fact Files

Bottom Line

Softshell turtles can have a very long lifespan if given the proper care. With good food, clean water and a warm basking area, they can easily live to be over 20 years old.

However, in the wild, their lifespan is often much shorter due to predation and environmental conditions.

I hope this article has helped shed some light on these fascinating animals and their amazing lifespans.

My name is Shayan Mondal, and I am a passionate turtle owner and enthusiast who enjoys sharing my knowledge and experience with fellow turtle lovers. As a proud owner of several turtle species, I understand the importance of proper care, habitat setup, and nutrition for these delightful creatures. This website regularly updates the latest insights into turtle health, diet, and conservation efforts.

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