How are Red-Eared Slider Turtles Able to Live in Deep Water?

How are red eared slider turtles able to live in deep water

The red-eared turtles are shockingly able to hold their breath for a very long period of time people often confuse themselves by the thing that these turtles have gills. The red-eared turtle does not have any gills in fact it has lungs just like other reptiles.

The red-eared turtles can hold their breath for 3 minutes or even for months in the wintertime, due to their ability to hold their breath for such a long interval of time they can travel in deep water as well.

Sliders thrive in freshwater bodies of water with a variety of aquatic plants. They enjoy swimming-depth water (2 feet or more) and are frequently spotted sunbathing on floating or protruding items in the environment.

Some think that the slider travels in the water for up to 7 feet dee but this is completely incorrect, although the read easter sliders survive in water they are still reptiles and need air as well. 

Since the bodies and respiratory systems of turtles have developed over millions of years, their bodies only require a tiny quantity of oxygen to operate effectively, this is mainly the reason behind red-eared sliders being able to live in deep water. They are extremely careful while they breathe, cautiously releasing oxygen into their bloodstream with each breath. Their brains and swimming muscles, which need relatively little work, are how they expel their own energy.

Another exception can be the cloacal breathing system, when the slider is in freshwater bodies that have a good amount of oxygen in the water they may not even come out to breathe after 30 minutes because Red-eared slider turtles may really transport oxygen from the freshwater bodies through their buttocks.

Simply said, oxygenated water is always flowing over the body of the turtle. The turtle contracts some of the muscles in its butt, allowing water to flow into pockets where it can distribute the oxygen in the water before entering its circulation.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Drown in Water?

Red-eared slider turtles spend a significant amount of time underwater, as all turtles do. Red-eared sliders enjoy swimming and diving in the water you can call it their personality trait, but they are susceptible to drowning. Since turtles cannot breathe underwater, they are all susceptible to drowning, especially in deoxygenated water bodies that lack the right amount of oxygen.

Your red slider will drown if it is submerged in water for an extended period of time. However, this also applies to other turtles. For a healthy and happy life, turtles require both water and air oxygen. Fortunately, red-eyed turtles are some of the finest turtle swimmers, so if they are given the right cage with a good water filtration system, they are unlikely to drown.

How Long Does It Take A Turtle To Drown?

A turtle can maintain a prolonged air hold while submerged. Depending on how active it is, a turtle may hold its breath for several hours or even longer. While dozing off or taking a nap, a turtle can hold its breath for up to seven hours. For several months at a time, some pet turtles even hibernate.

A turtle may get worried and afraid if it is submerged for too long. It might run out of oxygen because of this. The shelled buddy may also breathe extra water into its lungs in order to get oxygen. This increases the risk of drowning.

As a result, if your shelled friend rolls over accidentally near the water and is unable to get back up on its own, in addition to getting hooked on something and freaking out, it runs the risk of drowning. Another potential issue is being unable to exit deeper water. Some turtles could tire themselves by swimming deeper into the ocean in search of a place to sunbathe. Young turtles who lack the strength to surface again risk drowning.

The turtles have survived in the water for days and months without coming out so the 

No, the red-eared sliders frequently only submerge for brief periods of time. They need to breathe frequently in warm environments where the majority of pet turtles are kept. As your pet’s metabolism slows down during the night, this may change; sleeping turtles may remain submerged for several hours at a time.

If they are hibernating or the environment is cold they may stay in the water all day and night then.

Can Red-Eared Sliders be out of the Water for a Long Time?

How are red-eared slider turtles able to live in deep water?

You should be aware by this point that Red Eared Sliders cannot survive for longer than a week without water but this is extremely unhealthy for this turtle. There are situations, though, where it can last up to six months.

The red-eared turtles usually stay outside water for 6-8 hours only.

During the creature’s brumation in the winter, this only occurs. Because nothing grows in the winter to provide food for Red Eared Sliders, they go into some sort of “shut down.”

The metabolic rate of a turtle’s body slows down in the winter, causing it to become dormant and not require as much energy for survival. Additionally, exact time it will take for a turtle to drown is not confirmed but keep a look at them in summers as they should not spend more than 5 hours in water then.

If the red-eared slider is not hibernating it will take approximately 9-10 hours for it to drown as they have seen to hold their breath for about 8 hours without drowning before. Any more than this is dangerous for them.

Turtle babies cannot remain submerged for this length of time. An infant, on the other hand, cannot survive underwater for more than 15 minutes without dying. Similar to this, elderly turtles could require more frequent breathing.

Can I Leave my Red-Eared Slider in the Sea?

No, red-eared sliders can’t live in the sea as it has salty water and they prefer living in freshwater. 

Salty water also causes dehydration in the red-eared slider turtle and causes destruction to the turtle’s shell.

Red-eared sliders seem to be freshwater animals in terms of the aquatic environment. They can be found in ponds, creeks, streams, and other freshwater settings. They can survive in the majority of freshwater environments, but they prefer quiet, still waters with lots of vegetation and sunbathing areas.

They also enjoy the water that has muddy, squishy surfaces. Red-eared sliders can frequently be seen in the slow-moving and quiet sections of large rivers. They tend to avoid areas of water that move more quickly. Despite being freshwater turtles, they occasionally can tolerate brackish waters as well.

How Deep Can Red-Eared Sliders Swim?

Red-eared sliders require enough water to be able to swim. For example, a 4-inch tortoise should be in water that is at least 6 to 8 inches deep, or roughly twice the depth as its length.

Red-eared sliders can swim well, so as long as they are able to exit the water and there is nothing they could possibly get stranded underwater, you do not have to worry about them drowning.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Breathe Underwater?

Red-eared sliders require a lot of water to remain happy and healthy, but they also require access to the air. These turtles breathe in through their noses, just like humans do, allowing air to enter their lungs. Moreover, they breathe out through their nose, so no they do not breathe underwater they actually hold their breath or respire with their cloaca.

The turtle’s torso is one feature that sets its breathing apart from that of a person. You may feel your torso growing and shrinking whenever you breathe. Red-eared slider turtles and other turtles, however, are unable to shift their torsos. Instead, their ribs, which are united with the turtle’s shell, completely encircle their torso.

The turtle’s torso is rigid, thus their lungs and muscles are substantially dissimilar to ours. Red-eared sliders can hold their breath for a lot longer than other mammals because of their unique structural makeup. In addition, due to their unique structure, red-eared sliders have an easier time breathing.

Breathing Underwater

Any turtle that tries to breathe underwater through its nose will shortly perish since it cannot do so. Red-eared sliders can, however, breathe underwater to some extent. These turtles possess a structure known as the cloaca. This aperture gives the turtle access to its reproductive system, gastrointestinal tract, and urine tract, among other areas.

The cloaca is really intriguing since it also permits turtles to breathe underwater. When the turtle is immersed, the cloaca functions much like a pump, sucking in water. After that, it will be possible to remove the water from the turtle’s body and the oxygen from the water. To enable turtles to spend more time underwater, this process is repeated.

Red-eared sliders can’t stay underwater on their own power from the cloaca. The turtles can only stay underwater for two or three minutes longer because to the small amount of oxygen it draws from the water. Even while this is the case when the turtle is cognizant, things take place very differently when it is hibernating.


In the water, red-eared slider turtles are unable to breathe. They can, however, expel water’s oxygen via their skin, but this is insufficient to prevent them from spending their whole lives breathing underwater.

Your slider turtle may undergo the brumation stage during the winter months, which means that its body will slow down to virtually a full stop. Through this method, they may remain under for months without needing to surface for air.

The cloacal procedure, which the red-eared turtles use, allows them to remain submerged for extended periods of time and prevents them from drowning in water.

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