How Long Do Turtles Stay Pregnant?

long-turtles-stay-pregnant Credit: Mark Conlin/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

Turtles do not become pregnant; they lay eggs to reproduce. Most turtle eggs have an incubation period of 45 to 75 days.

Many sea turtles will swim hundreds of miles to return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs. Other varieties of turtle, such as river turtles, may simply crawl up onto the nearest patch of shore. All turtles dig a burrow for their eggs. Turtles of differing species lay anywhere from 12 to 160 eggs.

The eggs incubate for 45 to 75 days depending on species and environment. When they are ready to hatch, the turtles escape their eggs with a "carbuncle," similar to a bird's egg tooth. They then burrow out of the nest and either enter the water or seek terrestrial shelter depending on their species.