WHY Are Turtles Slow or Fast on Land/Water? 5 Reasons!

In fact, turtles aren’t really slow. People who have a slow metabolism don’t want to waste their energy, so they’re quick but don’t want to waste time. To swim and control the depth of their dive, turtles are very light because they need to be able to do both.

Instead, tortoises are only land reptiles, so they carry heavier shells that make them slow and not very able to run very far. I think tortoises have been hurting from their big, heavy shells since day one.

There are a lot of tortoises that move slowly because they are so heavy. They say this tortoise is 400 pounds, but it’s not true. As a 400-pound person, you’d be slow, too.

There are turtles who, on the other hand, aren’t really very slow. They weigh less than they should for their size.

The speed at which some turtles move is not the same for all of them.

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They can swim very quickly in water.

Let’s look at the tentative comparison table for all seven species. 


Swimming Speed


  • Flatback Sea Turtle
15 mph 80-120 Kgs
  • Green Sea Turtle
19 mph 100-300 Kgs
  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle
15 mph 80-120 Kgs
  • Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
17 mph 40-80 Kgs
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
22 mph 250-750 Kgs
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
15 mph 150-600 Kgs
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
17 mph 35-45 Kgs

They can also move pretty quickly when they are young turtles.

The idea that turtles move slowly comes mostly from tortoises and other land turtles, like loggerhead turtles.

This group of animals is usually big and vegetarian. They are also usually well-protected and well-fed. These factors may have worked together to make them slow.

When animals move quickly, they use a lot of energy, which is why you don’t see them doing it very often. They are either being chased by a predator that they need to outrun, or they are predators looking for prey and need to get it.

Turtles are very well-protected, so they can just hide in their shells and fight off attackers.

are turtles slow

Predators aren’t what they’re looking for, so their large size protects them and slows them down (as it does for all animals as they grow).

Turtles are also very good at moving and using their muscles. As before, this is based on the slow terrestrial turtles.

They have a triangle of support, which means that three legs are almost always on the ground.

This means that they use very little energy when they move. They also don’t lift their bikies up and down a lot like we do and most animals do when they run or bound.

There is a lot of movement up and down, which is good for going fast, but it takes a lot of energy to move.

Turtles have a clever way to deal with this. They can eat very little and very bad food, but they can do it slowly and be fine.

Incredibly, turtles that live in the water can be very fast on land because they have a lot of different moves. So they are often only balanced on two limbs at a time, and they move their weight around all the time to keep their dynamic balance.

This is because their limbs point outward rather than down. So they run around like crazy and try to get back to the water as quickly as possible. Trying to get a turtle that is swimming in the sun while it is on a log isn’t easy.

You can’t even say “jack rabbit.” Once they are in the water, they move their limbs very quickly and swim very quickly.

Tortoises vs Turtles; Which is the Fastest?

1) Tortoises are big animals. Their shells are heavy and their skulls are huge compared to their relatives.

The pelvic and pectoral girdles are attached to the pelvic and pectoral girdles of this Galapagos tortoise.

Galapagos tortoise

When the animal is alive, the limb is obstructed by much more.

2) Their shell is a part of their skeleton, not just a covering. Moreover,

It contains the pectoral and pelvic girdles, which form the major limb joints.

Their range of motion is restricted. Imagine running in a barrel with small leg holes.

A turtle’s rib cage cannot be expanded to breathe with the diaphragm, so they breathe with their legs.

So, the turtle is faster both on land and water than tortoises.

Whу Are Turtlеѕ So Slow?

Turtles move slowly because their lifestyle and environment don’t demand it. They’re herbivores, so they don’t have to buy food.

They have nice, thick shell, which means most predators don’t bother them.

They don’t have to chase food or avoid predators, so there’s no reason for them to be anything but low.

Slowness is one of the reasons most turtle species live so long. Other reptiles, such as crocodiles, and some fish, can also live a long time.

They can go for long periods without food because they move slowly and don’t use much energy.

They are well adapted to their environment. Speeding can result in unfortunate injuries such as falls, broken bones (or hell), bruises, and other unpleasantries.

Unless there is a reason for speed, it usually maintains a slow speed. The turtle lives a long time because it lives responsibly and does not scurry around chasing the next big thing.

Finally, a turtle’s shell makes it slow.

Most evolutionary anthropologists believe pre-shell turtles were faster than modern turtles. The logic is simple. While the turtle’s shell protects it from predators, it restricts its range of motion. With limited mobility and flexibility, a turtle cannot run on land.

The turtle must also carry the extra weight of the shell.

While most turtles (especially land turtles) are known for their slow speed, not all turtles are. This is especially true for sea turtles.

Sea turtles can reach speeds comparable to race cars when pursuing their prey. It’s just that these rates are limited. Turtles can only maintain top speed for a second.

Whаt is thе Top Sрееd оf a Turtle?

There аrе many tуреѕ оf turtles. Here is a list оf all the common sea turtles, and the top speed at which they can swim. I’ve also included their weight for some perspective.

  • Green ѕеа turtle- 19 mрh. Wеіghѕ 100-300kg
  • Flаtbасk ѕеа turtle- 15mрh. Weighs 80-120kg
  • Olive rіdlеу ѕеа turtle- 17mрh. Wеіghѕ 35-45mрh
  • Hawksbill ѕеа turtle- 15mрh. Wеіghѕ 80-120kgѕ
  • Leatherback ѕеа turtlе- 22mрh. Wеіghѕ 250-750kg
  • Kеmр’ѕ rіdlеу ѕеа turtlе-17mрh. Weighs 40-80kg
  • Lоggеrhеаd sea turtle- 15mph. Weighs 150-600kgѕ

Can Turtles Run?

Some land turtles have learned to run. But it all depends on the situation. Most turtles will flee for their lives if startled. The ldеr turtlе аrе a good example.

Alarm on land causes turtles to sprint into water.

They gain several miles per hour. This group includes the larger tortoise.

Turtles’ locomotion and muscle use are also effective.

They move very slowly because they have a trаnglе of support with three legs touching the ground at all times (again, based on low terrestrial turtles).

They also don’t bounce or gallop like other animals when they run. While the up and down motion is good for speed, it is not good for energy.

Are Turtles Slower than Snails and Sloths?

No, turtles are faster than snails. Snails and slothes are slower than turtles.

Turtles can reach speeds of 1.6 kph (1 mph) on land and 2.4 kph (1.5 mph) in the water

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