Do Turtles Fart? A Thorough Explanation

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Do you think turtles fart? As an animal, it is a very natural thing to do for a turtle or a tortoise. But yes, I bet the topic has hardly crossed your mind. So, do turtles actually fart?

The turtles fart more often than you think. Like all other animals, turtles fart to release the build-up gas in their digestive system. A turtle’s fart can be loud and smelly, depending on its diet.

I understand if you find the farting of a turtle funny and strange. But trust me, the turtles do it for their own good. Keep reading this article if you want to know how and why the turtle farts. I bet the facts will blow your mind.

Do Turtles Fart?

Yes, turtles fart, and this is totally normal in many reptiles. In most cases, the owners do not even notice their pet turtles passing gas. You might find your turtle farting if you observe the turtle for too long and too often.

It was years back when I heard and saw one of my turtles fart for the very first time. Bubbles were coming up to the water surface from my baby turtle’s butt. It was pretty funny, to be honest, but I was curious. A little research cleared my doubts.

See, when turtles have their meals, it goes directly to the stomach. Now, sometimes turtles require more time to digest the whole feast. The undigested foods might build up gas in the digestive system, which forces the turtles to fart.

Again, turtles swallow air and carbohydrate throughout the day, which is not ingested fully. Turtles have to release the excess air, and they do it by farting.

Turtles might fart in both water and land areas. If you are observant, then you will often catch your pet turtles releasing gas.

The interesting fact about a turtle’s fart is that it can vary in sound and smell. Yes, just like us humans. Sometimes the farts are loud, and you can hear them clearly. At other times, you can not tell that your turtle has released gas unless you see the bubbles in the water.

If you talk about the smell, the turtle farts are generally pungent. You really should not worry about the odor as it is due to the ingested food. However, you need to look out for the causes if the farts are too smelly.

I know it seems so strange that people have noticed such details. But when it comes to your favorite pet, you can take no risk.

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As you know, turtles pass gas in both land and water. But it is more likely for the turtles to fart in water. It is because the turtles urinate and defecate underwater. So, this is most probably the place where the turtles will release gas.

Never think of the turtle fart as something gross or dirty. It is the same as humans, and the turtles benefit from releasing the gas. So, there is no harm in farting, and it definitely indicates proper digestion of the turtles.

Why Do Turtles Fart?

Regular farting or excretion of turtles is absolutely normal and nothing to be made fun of. In fact, if your turtle does not pass the waste gas regularly, you should be concerned about its health. Now the question that pops up in mid is why turtles fart.

Actually, turtles only fart when there is gas development inside their body. I have found 2 logical answers to why this gas builds up. Such as,

  1. Food digestion
  2. Ingested air bubbles

Let’s talk about food first.

Do you know why humans fart? It is mainly because of the gas built up inside our digestive tract. The same thing happens to a turtle.

You follow a diet schedule and feed your turtle regularly. The turtle might not digest all the meal items at the same rate, and it would take a little longer to break down a few foods.

So, the items that a turtle’s small intestine can not handle are passed to the large intestine. There the existing bacteria work in breaking down the foods, and that is where the gas produces. The turtles then release the gas via their cloaca or butt, and we call it farting.

Turtle farts can be smelly depending on the food it has eaten. Scientists claim that few vegetables cause excessive and pungent farts in turtles. Such food items are,

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli

Another reason why the turtle releases gas is because of the ingested air. Turtles inhale throughout the day. How? Well, here is how,

  • Turtles take deep breaths before diving back into the water. They inhale air during that time.
  • While swimming, turtles might gulp air bubbles.

This air passes to the food pipe and seeks an exit. Turtles feel comfortable after releasing the gas.

How Do Turtles Fart?

By now, you know that the turtle fart is the by-product of their digestion system. Turtles are most likely to pass gas right after the meal or during the digestion process. Every fact is alright. But how do turtles fart?

Turtles fart through their rectum, rear, cloaca, or back. The waste gas passes to the anus through the rectum and finally comes out as a fart. This whole thing happens automatically when the system builds up enough gas. Turtles use the same rectum passage while defecating.

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I guess this is the most straightforward answer to the question. But if you want to know more about it, then continue reading.

Many of you do not know that turtles have a complicated excretory system. Whenever they diet something, it breaks down in their stomach. The digestion process does not stop even after the food paste passes from the stomach. Why?

It is because, in the wild, meals are not always available to the turtles. So, these creatures are adapted to such an excretory system where they pull out as many nutrients as possible. The passage of waste foods follow two simple steps,

  1. The food first goes through the intestine
  2. Then it gets released via the cloaca

The food first comes to the small intestine and then to the large intestine. There, the rest of the nutrients are absorbed and given back to the bloodstream.

Finally, when the food has nothing more to offer, it is passed to the rectum. And then, the waste is released as poop.

Generally, the waste gas follows the same path and comes out of the turtle’s cloaca.

What Happens If A Turtle Does Not Fart?

As I have been saying, farting is healthy for turtles. If your turtle does not release the waste gas, it might develop gastrointestinal issues. Also, the turtle might appear to be bloated because of this.

You will notice bloating around the neck or head area. And yes, do not confuse bloating with being overweight. If you are feeding your turtle the right amount, and still your turtle is looking heavy, then you should consult a vet. It can either be a case of bloating or sickness.

Why Is Your Turtle Farting Too Often?

Many things might be responsible for a turtle’s excessive fart. One of the most common reasons behind this condition is its diet. Experts believe that gassy foods often make the turtles fart more often.

In my previous section, I have mentioned a few food items that cause excessive farting. For example,

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower, etc.

You can not mark these vegetables as harmful. But yes, they manipulate up the gas build-up process in the digestive system. How?

Well, the system might fail to digest the tiny bits of cauliflower or cabbage. They stay in the system for longer and continue to build up waste gas. As a result, turtles release smelly gas more frequently.

How to Stop Excessive Fart?

You already know what makes your turtle fart excessively. Now the question is what you can do to stop this excessive farting.

The answer is simple. You have to focus more on the diet of the turtle. Usually, a balanced and nutritional meal will help you in this case.

Most turtles are omnivorous, which means they eat both animal and plant matter. But yes, they always have a preference depending on the species. For example, musk turtles are primarily carnivorous and start having veggies when they grow up. (Get a feeding guide for musk turtles from here)

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So, you have to prepare a meal chart for your pet turtle according to its preferences. Generally, a turtle’s diet includes the following items,

  • Animal protein: Insects, worms, feeder fish, etc.
  • Plant Matter: Green and leafy vegetables, carrots, etc.
  • Fruits: Banana, apple, berries, etc.
  • Commercial Items: Pellets
  • Supplements: Calcium, vitamin D3, multivitamin, etc.

Feed your turtle a balanced diet regularly, and it will have a healthy digestive system. And so, there will be no excessive farting.

If you can not reduce the farting issue of your turtle with a balanced meal, you need to consult a vet.

Here is one thing you should not forget. Farting is not harmful or anything to be concerned about. If your turtle releases gas regularly, it means the pet is healthy. You only need to worry when the farting becomes more frequent.

Do Turtles Fart Out Of Their Mouth?

Turtles do not fart out of their mouths. Instead, these creatures release the waste gas through the rectum, the same passage they use for defecating.

Fart is coming out of the turtle’s mouth. It is surely a weird thing to imagine. However, this little myth has quite the popularity. It came from the thought that turtles poop from their mouths.

I know it sounds gross. But wait. People have every right to think that. Why?

Here is a fun fact. The Chinese softshell turtles pee from its mouth. No joke.

Scientists have investigated the fact and found its validity. They believe that this odd ability of the Chinese softshell turtles helps them in invading salty environments.

So, yes. The myth of a turtle farting out of its mouth is an utter lie. Turtles release gas through their rear, back, or cloaca.

Do Tortoises Fart?

Turtles and tortoises are the closest relatives, and they have similarities in physique. Like turtles, tortoises also fart, which is, of course, a natural phenomenon.

Tortoises release the waste gas through their anus or cloaca. The food first breaks down in the stomach and then passes to the small intestine and later to the large intestine. Throughout the journey, the nutrients are pulled back into the tortoise body.

Gases build up from the food while they break up in the digestive system and move forward. At last, the excess gas comes out of the tortoise cloaca.


Turtles can and do fart regularly as it is a healthy thing to do. You can see ripples in the water if it has released the waste gas there. Other than that, the loud sound or the pungent smell is also proof that your turtle has just farted.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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