Do Turtles Lay Eggs In Water?

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

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Turtles are aquatic species, and they are comfortable laying their eggs underwater. Most people believe this shit (No Joke)! But is there any truth in this statement? Can turtles really lay eggs in water?

Turtles do not lay eggs in the water. The underwater pressure can kill the embryo and cause dyscotia in the mother. Both freshwater and sea turtles come to the land and look for a nesting site to deposit eggs. However, an Australian long neck turtle shows exceptional behavior and nests underwater.

Looking for an explanation? Keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Turtles come to the land, dig a nest, and lay their eggs.
  • Depositing eggs in water can be life-threatening for the mother.
  • Around 80% humidity and high temperature (78F to 85F) are required to hatch turtle eggs.

Turtles Never Lay Eggs in Water

Evolution is a funny thing. The process made a solid instinct about what is necessary for your survival. Turtles have evolved for millions of years and reached this stage. Evolution has taught them not to lay eggs in water but on land. Why?

Water does not offer the ideal environment for hatching. How would it be? Aren’t you familiar with underwater pressure? Squeezing eggs out of the cloaca under this force is quite painful for turtles.

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In many cases, the gravid turtle fails to deposit all her eggs. This leads to dystocia or egg binding in the pet. In serious conditions, the turtle has to undergo surgery to remove the remaining eggs. Otherwise, the reptile will die.

Not to mention that the water environment is not welcoming for the eggs either. The fluid pressure can damage the membrane and kill the embryo. Even if the eggs survive somehow, they will never hatch. The high humidity and low temperature will never favor the incubation requirements.

In short, if turtles keep depositing eggs in the water, their population will decline in no time. Mother Nature never wants to wipe out a strong species from the face of the earth.

Therefore, from the survival instinct, turtles never lay eggs in water.

turtle eggs

This Species Is An Except! It Lays Eggs in Water!

All turtles lay eggs on land. It is a fact. However, scientists have discovered one species that does not follow this typical path.

Research says that the long neck turtle of Australia is the only species that lay eggs in the water. There is an interesting story behind this discovery.

Rod Kennett, an Australian biologist, could not find long neck turtle nests even after searching the lands in both wet and dry seasons. He decided to place a transmitter inside the gravid female turtles’ oviduct to spot the nests. Finally, he discovered the clutches beneath the water.

Hey! Just because the Australian long neck turtles can nest underwater, do not force your turtles to do the same. Instead, build the pet a suitable nest on the land.

How Long Do Snapping Turtle Eggs Incubate

Do These Things If You Find Turtle Eggs in The Water

Let me make one thing very clear. Turtle eggs can not survive in water. There is a high chance that these eggs will get waterlogged. After a certain period, they will start to rot, making the enclosure stink.

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Besides, do not forget that turtles love protein. They will also feast on the eggs floating in their habitat.

To avoid such scenarios and take a chance of hatching the clutch, here is what you can do,

  1. Use a spoon to scoop the eggs out of the water.
  2. Do not shake the eggs. Keep the eggs in an upright position and try to maintain it.
  3. Look for any cracks on the eggs. Throw away the damaged eggs.
  4. Put the fresh and healthy eggs inside an incubator. You can build an incubator at home or buy a commercial one.
  5. Ensure a suitable incubation environment inside the container. Usually, 80% humidity and a temperature around 78F to 85F are recommended. Customize the settings as per the species requirement.
  6. Keep an eye on the eggs, and the babies will come out within three months.

Where Do Turtles Lay Eggs?

If turtles do not lay eggs in water, then where? Of course, on the land.

The gravid turtles start looking for a suitable spot to lay eggs during the gestation period. Their requirements are simple. The soil must be loose and soft. Besides, the ground should be able to trap heat and retain moisture.

Turtles will select a spot uphill to protect the clutches from unwanted flooding. South-facing nests are more common as they can receive maximum sunlight.

Gravid turtles will sniff the soil and bang their heads against the ground. This is just a turtle thing to figure out the quality of the nesting spot.

In the wild, turtles often travel from place to place to find a suitable nesting site. The sea turtles migrate to their birthplace and nest in the sand.

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Countless possible nesting sites are available for wild turtles compared to pet turtles. It is our responsibility to build a nesting box for the mothers. Otherwise, they will avoid laying eggs altogether and may suffer from dystocia.

Also, many mothers will attempt to deposit eggs in water.

When a mother turtle finally likes a spot, she will start digging the soil. The nests are usually 5 to 7 inches deep. Well, the depth usually depends on the mother turtle’s size.

Once the nest is ready, the mother will sit in the chamber. It might take the creature several hours to deposit all the eggs. During this time, the turtle stays in a half-conscious and vulnerable stage. After laying the eggs, the mother covers the hole with dirt and leaves the place forever.

Before You Go

In captivity, you should not leave the eggs in the nest. It is better to move the eggs to an incubator and provide a recommended environment. I have a step-by-step turtle egg care guideline in the attached article.

Red-Eared Slider Eggs: Care Guide For Beginners

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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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