Do Turtles Drink Water? do turtles drink water through their nose

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If you’re thinking about turtles, most people will automatically associate them with longevity and patience.

These gentle shelled reptiles live underwater for most of their lives and have a high amount of mystery surrounding them.

Some species of turtles can live up to 150 years, more than the average human lifespan. They have survived throughout time and are an ancient species on earth. 

However, they are becoming endangered due to humans harvesting their eggs and habitats being destroyed.

What are the basic needs of blue whales? Let’s talk about some of them to help better understand and hopefully help as a whole.

Do Turtles Drink Water?

Turtles drink water just like any other animals. Their process might not be the same as others, but they do need to drink water to sustain their body. 

Turtles have a special way of filtering salt out of seawater so that they can drink water. Turtles come in all shapes and sizes. 

There are about 79 different types of turtles in the wild, each one with a unique and exotic habitat.

Check out these unusual shelled reptiles that have adapted to their regional habitats.

Sea or Aquatic turtles:

There are over 228 different species of sea and aquatic turtles which occupy a range of habitats including beaches, swimming pools, rivers, and oceans.

Just like other turtles, Marine Turtles are a type of reptile. They’re often known as Reptiles of the Deep Blue Sea.

They drink salt water all their lives. They start off as an omnivore, but later they become a herbivore when they become an adult.

Land turtles or Eastern box turtles:

Rocking turtle! It might not be the best animal related pun, but the box turtle is unmatched when it comes to closing its shell.

Box turtles are mostly omnivorous and will drink their fill if they have the opportunity. They must have access to a continual source of water, as they cannot survive without it.

Desert turtles/Gopher Turtles:

Turtles can be found in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, even in harsh weather conditions.

Horses can often subsist on nothing but grass and flowers and cactus fruit. They usually get water from the food they eat, though sometimes they drink water directly.

Baby turtles:

Baby turtles, known as hatchlings, are confused and dazed when they first come out of their eggs. As soon as they hit the sand, though, they rush to the ocean.

Baby turtles need lots of protein in order to grow, which means they need a shallow water source where they can reach it with their mouths.

Snapping turtles:

The snapping turtle has a naturally armored tail. These turtles spend most of their lives residing in semi-permanent water bodies.

 However, evolution has given these turtles strong jaws to protect themselves. They drink water while they’re swimming.

Pet turtles:

There are many types of turtles you can keep as a pet. Two prime examples would be the Box Turtle and the Spotted Turtle.

They are omnivores and need a mixed diet of both meat and vegetables. There should always be water nearby.

Musk turtles:

Most turtles primarily eat a variety of fish and bugs. These turtles are carnivores so they mostly eat meat.

Typically, not the strongest swimmers will spend much of their time in the water. Turtles do this to survive and they need water just like other animals.

Red clapper turtles/Slider turtles:

Slider turtles should have at least twice as much water as their size, so they need a lot of space. You should make sure they have enough water to swim.

Turtles usually eat vegetation, crabs, and bugs. They drink water too.

Russian turtles:

If you’re looking for a really great pet turtle, Afghan tortoises are a suggested choice. They are one of the most popular and best-selling turtles to date.

These turtles have a big personality. The majority of them are herbivores, so they eat plants and drink water from the vegetation when needed.

How Do You Give Turtles Water? How Do Turtles Drink Water?

Turtles are sea animals, but that doesn’t stop them from drinking freshwater.

They have a special gland under their eye that is much larger than their brain that allows them to drink saltwater even when it’s toxic to most other land-dwelling animals.

Turtles will often get water from their diet of vegetation and when they bask in the sun, they get thirsty and drink. They drink water through their throat and mouth while swimming.

Big Tank:

Turtles are very active animals, so they need a big tank with lots of water. A small container won’t do for their muscles can get bad pain and atrophy. 

Turtles grow up to approximately 80L in size, so you’ll need to upgrade the tank accordingly as your turtle grows.


These innocent looking animal have a nasty habit of defecating where they eat. That can be hazardous to the water and other turtles, as their waste builds up.

Turtles can swim in toxic water because the ammonia that their droppings produce is released into the water. You should invest in a filtration system to keep the water clean.

Purified Water:

Tap water can contain harmful chemicals that affect turtles and can make them sick. That’s why it’s so important to provide purified water for your turtle before feeding them.

Turtles are clumsy animals, do they drink water through their nose? Turtles don’t drink water but they can swim in it.

Turtles do drink water. You may not see it because they reside in water bodies, but sometimes you can see their throat move, which indicates that they are drinking water from the water.

Although, turtles drink through their mouth and throat but not through their nose, Aldabra tortoises can do both. They can drink water through their nostrils.

However, turtles don’t typically drink water from any surface. They’ll only drink the water they live in occasionally (when they’re swimming or basking). Turtles also defecate in the water where they live.

If the water is not regularly filtered and maintained, it will become contaminated from turtle defecations. Many people use small bowls of water for their pet turtles.

Turtles aren’t often thought of as animals that need water, but they actually do. How much water and how often should turtles drink?

A turtle is a strange aquatic reptile that we know very little about them. However, this mystery is made even worse by the fact that they spend most of their lives deep in the water. Turtles use magnetic fields to guide themselves from place to place.

When turtles are out and about, they may drink water. However, normally if they’re out of the water for too long, they’ll find it as a source for their hydration.

It’s not normal for them to go without drinking water. It depends on many factors how long a turtle can go without drinking water.

These factors include age, species, environment, and the closeness of their mouth with their body. However, a turtle can survive without water for 8 hours minimum.

Can Turtles Drink Tap Water? Do Turtles Drink Purified Water?

What do turtles drink? Some turtles may prefer getting their water from a filtered source, but some may be okay with drinking tap water.

Here are some things you should do before adopting a turtle. They are high-maintenance pets that need a pure form of water.

You should also make sure they have the right substrate and temps before you bring them home.

Turtles cannot drink tap water because it contains Chlorine and Fluoride. These chemicals can upset the pH balance in their system. De-chlorinated water should be what you feed your pet turtle.

Turtles are very sensitive animals, so you should only use purified water when they live in their habitats.

Despite this, you can actually just let the water sit for at least 24 hours in a different container if you don’t have a water conditioner.

Do Turtles Ever Get Thirsty? Do Turtles Need Water Bowls?

Turtles spend all their lives underwater. Hatchlings might be confused and dazed seconds after they are born, but they immediately scurry to the ocean.

That’s because they spend almost their whole lives under the water. But this doesn’t mean they’re not interested in water at all!

If they’re out in the wild, a pet turtle will be thirsty within hours and will need to drink water to stay alive. Death from dehydration is a common cause for pet turtles.

Pet turtles need water bowls to drink, bathe, and defecate in. Otherwise, their main tank water would never be clean.

Final Thoughts

Some people may say, “All living things need water to survive”. However, that isn’t the case for turtles. They use their unique salt glands behind their eyes to drink seawater throughout their lives.


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