Why do turtles live so long?
In the animal kingdom, turtles are known for their long lifespans.
In fact, they can live from 40 to 100 years or longer!
The oldest living species of the tortoise was named Harriet and lived 176 years.
Even though scientists don’t know exactly how old she was when she died in 2006, it is known that she was alive in 1832, when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated.
How Turtles Live So Long
How do they live so long?
Scientists have discovered that the secret of their longevity is evolution.
Turtles are cold-blooded animals; this means that they must keep themselves warm by basking in the sun or moving to warmer areas.
Since turtles can’t move fast like most animals, they are at a higher risk of being eaten.
The best way for them to avoid predators is to stay still, but this means that they need a longer time to digest their food.
This slow metabolism gives turtles nearly four times as much time as other animals to break down their food.
The extra time turtles have after eating allows more nutrients and oxygen to be absorbed by their bodies.
Also, the extra time in the digestive system lets turtles absorb more fat from their food.
Fat gives them energy and helps their shells grow stronger, which means they can live longer lives without being eaten.
Turtles also don’t need to eat nearly as much or as often as smaller animals do because of their slow metabolisms.
Females turtles only need to eat once every few weeks, and males can go for months without eating anything.
All of these reasons contribute to turtles living longer lives than most other animals.
For these reasons, turtles are able to live their long lives.
They may not move quickly or be the smartest animals in the world, but they can live to tell us their stories for nearly a century.
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