Can Softshell Turtles Breathe Underwater?

Yes, softshell turtles can breathe underwater. They have modified lungs that allow them to take in oxygen from the water through their skin. The turtle’s shell also helps it absorb oxygen while submerged.

Softshell turtles have long necks that they use to hold their heads up above the water and take in air when needed. When diving for food or shelter, they are able to stay submerged for longer periods of time due to their ability to absorb oxygen through their shells and skin as well as store air within pockets formed by their plastron (bottom shell). The combination of these adaptations allows softshell turtles to remain submerged for extended periods of time without having to surface for air as other aquatic animals do frequently.

How Long Can Softshell Turtles Be Out of Water?

Softshell turtles can stay out of water for up to three days, although the amount of time they are able to remain dry depends on their size, species, and age. In general, younger softshell turtles need more frequent access to water than older ones since they have less developed lungs and rely more heavily on absorbing oxygen from the air through their skin. Access to a shallow pool or other body of fresh water should be provided so that they can rehydrate when needed.

Do Softshell Turtles Have Lungs?

Yes, softshell turtles have lungs just like other species of turtles. Softshell turtles are air-breathing reptiles that rely on their lungs to bring oxygen into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide out of it. In addition to having two main lung chambers located near the backbone, they also have a pair of accessory breathing organs known as ‘branchial plates’ which help them with respiration by increasing surface area for gas exchange.

Although the branchial plates are not entirely essential for life, they do enable softshells to stay underwater longer than most other freshwater turtle species without surfacing for air. The freshwater environment in which these turtles live can often be low in oxygen and therefore having additional gas exchange surfaces is beneficial for them when diving and hunting prey at deeper depths.

How Long Can a Soft Shell Turtle Stay Underwater?

Softshell turtles are capable of staying underwater for long periods of time, and in some cases, up to a few hours. They have an extraordinary ability to absorb oxygen through their skin, which allows them to stay submerged for long periods without coming up for air. These turtles can even hibernate underwater during the colder months when their food sources become scarce.

Softshell turtles are also able to regulate their body temperature by controlling how much they expose themselves to water temperatures, so they will often remain submerged until conditions become more favorable on land. Due to this adaptation, these reptiles can survive in areas that typically experience extreme seasonal temperature fluctuations as well as prolonged droughts or floods where other species may not be able to endure the same level of environmental stressors.

Are Spiny Softshell Turtles Endangered?

Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone spinifera) are considered to be an endangered species in much of their native range. This is due to the loss of habitat and over-collection of food, pets, and traditional medicine. As a result, many conservation efforts have been put into place to protect these turtles from further decline.

How Long Do Softshell Turtles Live?

Softshell turtles are a species of aquatic turtle that can live up to 40 years in the wild, and even longer when cared for properly in captivity. They require plenty of space to live, as well as access to water and food sources such as fish, crayfish, insects, mollusks, crabs, and other aquatic organisms.

Softshell turtles also need exposure to UVB rays from natural sunlight or artificial bulbs in order to stay healthy. With proper care and habitats suitable for their needs they can easily reach old age!

Are Softshell Turtles Fully Aquatic?

Softshell turtles are a unique species of turtle that is found in many different parts of the world. They have a distinctive shell which is usually leathery and can be black, brown or olive-green in color. Despite their unusual appearance, softshell turtles are actually fully aquatic creatures and spend most of their time submerged in water.

Unlike other types of turtles, they do not hibernate during winter months but instead remain active year-round. Softshell turtles typically inhabit shallow waters such as ponds, marshes, and streams where they feed on insects, worms, fish, and crustaceans. As opportunistic predators, these reptiles will also consume plants if needed for sustenance.

While some individuals may venture onto land occasionally to bask in the sun or lay eggs; it’s important to note that softshell turtles cannot survive out of water for extended periods due to their lack of a protective hard shell covering the body. Therefore it’s safe to say that these fascinating creatures are indeed fully aquatic animals!

How to Care for a Softshell Turtle! (Quick care guide)


This blog post has provided a comprehensive overview of the unique abilities and habits of softshell turtles. They can remain submerged underwater for long periods of time, but they must still come up to the surface every now and then in order to breathe air.

Softshell turtles are fascinating creatures with a wide range of adaptations that allow them to thrive in their aquatic environment. Knowing more about these animals helps us better appreciate their beauty and understand the importance they play within our ecosystems.