Do Turtles Have Amniotic Eggs?

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

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Pardon me if today’s article seems boring. Honestly, among you, only the ones with a knack for biology will find this write-up interesting. We will be talking about whether turtle eggs are amniotic or not.

Turtle eggs carry the same features as an amniotic egg. For example, the yolks contain blood vessels and store nutrition. The embryo sack includes fluid that helps in hydration. In the turtle egg, the allantois releases waste and the chorion aids in respiration. It proves that turtles have amniotic eggs.

Didn’t understand a word? You will find the simplest explanation below.

Key Takeaways

  • Turtles carry amniotic eggs.
  • Amniotic eggs allow these reptiles to nest on the land.

What Are Amniotic Eggs?

I am sure many of you have no clue about what amniotic eggs are. So, why don’t we start with that?

In simple terms, amniotic eggs are eggs that will have either a lethargy or calcium-based shell and extra embryonic membrane. The shell and water-impermeable amniotic membrane provide additional protection to the eggs. Fluids surround the membrane, ensuring that embryonic development is seamless in both dry and wet environments.

Thankfully, turtle eggs are amniotic. Apparently, depositing amniotic eggs has worked in the turtle’s favor. Because of the cushioning and available fluids, the embryos thrive in dry land. Many experts suggest that amniotic eggs are the reasons why turtles can live on both land and water.

Turtle Eggs Are Amniotic Because..

An amniotic egg has 4 preliminary features. Such as,

  • Chorion: The primary function of chorion is to assist in efficient and successful gas exchange between the shell and the yolk. It also removes the excess carbon dioxide from the shells.
  • Amnion: Egg yolk at all stages is vulnerable to mechanical shock in a dry environment. The primary goal of amnion is to keep the yolk hydrated.
  • Allantois: The Allantois works to fulfill 2 purposes. First, it assists the chorion in a respiration program. Second, the allantois collects the nitrogenous wastes from the yolk and releases them through the shell.
  • Yolk Sac: Professionals call the yolk the stomach of the eggs because the nutrients are stored in this portion. The yolk contains blood vessels, too. As the embryo develops, the yolk size gets reduced.
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Finally, these 4 sacs are encased in a leathery or calcium-rich shell.

Turtle laying eggs

If you compare these characteristics with a turtle egg, we will find 100% similarities. Such as,

  • Turtle egg shells are soft in the beginning. With maturity, the shells get harder but brittle. Usually, calcium carbonate is the main element of turtle egg shells. It gives them a rigid yet fragile feature. 
  • Numerous blood vessels pass through the egg yolk, which is located right beside the amniote embryo. Amniotic fluid occupies the amniotic cavity, which prevents dehydration.
  • Chorion has wrapped up the yolk, embryo, and allantois. Albumen fills up the gap between the chorion and the shell. It cushions the egg by providing additional fluids.

See, turtle eggs contain all the qualities the amniotic eggs carry. Therefore, these reptiles lay amniotic eggs.

frequently asked questions

Do reptile eggs have amniotic fluid?

Yes, reptile eggs contain amniotic fluid inside the amnion, which is an inner membrane that surrounds and protects the embryo. The amniotic fluid acts as a cushion and moisture source for the developing baby reptile inside the shelled egg.

It allows reptiles to lay their eggs on land rather than staying attached to a water source like amphibians do.

Do land turtles have amnion?

Yes, all land turtles lay amniotic eggs just like other reptiles. Inside each of their leathery or hard-shelled eggs is an amniotic sac membrane containing fluid that supports development of the turtle embryo.

This allows turtle eggs to be laid and survive on land rather than requiring water like many other animals. The amnion protects the baby turtle until it’s ready to hatch on its own.

See also  How Many Eggs Does A Turtle Lay?

Do all reptiles lay amniotic eggs?

Yes, the ability to lay amniotic eggs on land, rather than staying attached to an external water source, is a defining characteristic of amniotes – the group that includes reptiles, birds and mammals.

Even viviparous reptiles that retain their eggs internally still develop those eggs inside an amniotic sac with fluid. The amniotic egg allowed for the evolution of truly terrestrial reproduction across amniote lineages.

Before You Go

Unfortunately, not all turtle or tortoise eggs are fertile. Hatchlings will not come out of the infertile eggs. I have shared the tips to detect fertile eggs in the below article.

How To Tell If Tortoise Eggs Are Fertile?

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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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