How Many Eggs Does a Turtle Lay?

The number of eggs turtles lay varies significantly by species. For instance, different kinds of sea turtles lay between 50 and 200 eggs. These eggs resemble ping pong balls but have soft shells. The female deposits the eggs on shore in a sandy pit she has dug with her flippers.

The common snapping turtle lays 20 to 40 eggs at one time. A female turtle uses her hind legs to dig a hole for the eggs in a dry, sunny area. After laying her eggs, the female covers the eggs and abandons them. Predators such as raccoons and crows destroy about 90 percent of snapping turtle nests.

The eastern box turtle deposits only three to eight eggs. It is not unusual for some to be infertile. The eggs are placed in a nest of leaves. Once the eggs hatch, baby turtles have difficulty fending for themselves. Few hatchlings survive.