How long can turtles stay underwater?


Quick Answer

Depending on the species, a turtle can stay under water for hours, days, weeks or even months. Turtles that spend large amounts of time submerged have developed specialized means of capturing oxygen from the surrounding water via gills, special cells or their skin.

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How long can turtles stay underwater?
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Full Answer

Some turtles that need to surface in order to take in oxygen have been known to hold their breath for considerably long amounts of time. For example, the Leatherback sea turtle can hold its breath for up to 7 hours at a time. On the other hand, the common musk turtle has eliminated its need to resurface by developing special cells on its tongue called papillae that allow it to separate oxygen from the water while the turtle is submerged.

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