All sea turtles thrive in the water as they can swim from birth. Hatching from eggs in the natural environment, the cubs immediately instinctively rush to the reservoir. Nobody teaches them to swim, but they immediately make the necessary movements with their paws and tail, after which they quickly hide from predators and begin to actively move.
All turtles, depending on the territory of residence, are divided into 3 large groups:
Representatives of the first two are able to swim. Any marine and freshwater turtle feels very comfortable in the water and spends most of the time there (about 70% -80%).
Sea turtles have an impressive size and hard shell for life in the sea. Excellent swim sea turtles allow their limbs-fins, as well as the streamlined shape of the shell. Watching the reptiles swim, one gets the impression of slowness, the turtle flaps its flippers, like soaring birds in the sky. But this is a misleading impression, since the average speed in water is 15-20 km/h, but in case of danger, reptiles move much faster – up to 30 km/h.
Video: how sea swim
The swimming technique of freshwater turtles is quite simple: in the water, turtles constantly sort out their front and hind legs, and maneuver with the help of their tail. They can quite sharply change the trajectory of swimming, which helps during hunting or when attacked by a predator.
It is a common misconception that the turtle has fins, thanks to which it deftly moves in the water. In fact, she has webbed feet that connect her toes in a similar way to how it can be seen on the feet of waterfowl (geese, ducks, and others). For example, the front paws of red-eared turtles are equipped with powerful claws that cut through the water. And their hind legs are equipped with membranes, thanks to which they seem to repel water and start moving.
Video: how red-eared swim
The limbs of land turtles are not designed for swimming. The larger the turtle, the heavier its shell, which is also not conducive to swimming. However, there is an opinion that the Central Asian, toothed kynyx and Schweigger’s tortoise can learn to swim both at home and in the wild. Of course, they will not swim on a par with water representatives, only in shallow water and for a very limited time.
Interesting Facts About Swimming Turtles
The turtle swims in the sea, rivers, lakes, small reservoirs, depending on the habitat. Their swimming technique is quite well studied, thanks to which several interesting facts about these reptiles are known today:
- Turtles that swim in the sea or in fresh water have a lower shell compared to land turtles. This shape helps to overcome water resistance and move quickly.
- The absolute speed record belongs to the leatherback turtle – it can swim at speeds up to 35 km / h.
- Land turtles can also be taught to swim. To do this, they are placed in a container, first with a small level of water, and gradually increase over time.
However, all the same, land species are not adapted to swimming, so they can drown in deep water. Water turtles move perfectly in the oceans, seas and rivers – this ability is inherent in them at the level of instinct.
How turtles swim
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