Everybody heard at some point that turtles room slow, but how slow are they? ns did the research to find out and the outcomes are fairly surprising.

You are watching: How fast can a turtle run

Most turtle walk in ~ a speed of around 2 MPH (3.2 km/h), and also swim in ~ a rate of 10 MPH (16km/h). The fastest tortoise in the human being can reach accelerates to 22 MPH (35 km/h), and also the slowest tape-recorded speed of a turtle is 0.23 MPH( 0.37 km/h).

During my study I uncovered out the while fairly a couple of turtles are undoubtedly slow, few of them can be rather fast, and there are a couple of turtles the end there that deserve to reach speed that would certainly surpass most cars. Therefore let’s take it a closer look in ~ how rapid turtles really are.

The Fastest tortoise in the World

Deciding i beg your pardon is the fastest tortoise in the human being can it is in a tiny tricky since there space a lot of moments once turtles have the right to reach really superior speeds (and not simply for a turtle). A snapping turtle deserve to reach the speed of 174 MPH (280 km/h) as soon as it’s striking. At this speed it deserve to keep up with an average nascar car. But this speed is only maintained for tiny periods that time, well under a second. However should this count?

Another problem is the turtles tend to leaving both on land and also underwater. And also the speed that they deserve to reach underwater doesn’t also compare with the one the they reach on land.

So I determined to break-up this component in 3 parts, fastest tortoise on land, fastest tortoise in the water and special mentions. Therefore let’s begin with the first one.

The Fastest turtle on Land

The fastest turtle on land is the softshell tortoise which have the right to reach up to 3 MPH (4.8 km/h).

Here is a photo of the speedster:


The key reason why this tortoise is faster than the remainder is the soft shell. Most turtles have their shells spanned with bony scales, which add up a most weight, however the covering of the softshell tortoise is spanned with a leather choose skin, i m sorry is significantly lighter.

The Fastest tortoise in the Water

While turtles aren’t able come reach exceptional speeds ~ above land, if they are in water they are quite fast.

This classification is overcame by sea turtles. Over there are just 7 types of sea tortoise in the human being and every one of them are quite fast, the faster of which being the Leatherback Sea tortoise which deserve to reach accelerates to 22 PMH (35 km/h). While this doesn’t sound exceptionally impressive, if you take into factor to consider that most of castle weigh about 1500 pounds (700kg), it yes, really becomes fairly an outstanding feat.

Here is a table v the speeds of every 7 various sea turtle species.

Turtle SpeciesAverage rate in mphAverage rate in km/h
Green sea turtle1930
Kemp’s ridley sea turtle1727
Hawksbill sea turtle1524
Leatherback sea turtle2235
Loggerhead sea turtle1524
Olive ridley sea turtle1727
Flatback sea turtle1524

Honorable Mentions

This is the component where I want to include a pair of remarkable moments, which can not be taken into consideration the norm, however are fun things to know.

The very first one I currently mentioned in the beginning. And also that is the truth that a snapping turtle have the right to reach the rate of 174 MPG (280 km/h) once it’s striking. This way that for a couple of milliseconds a tortoise becomes the fastest animal in the world.

But this no the highest possible speed a turtle has reached, since that speed was got to by a turtle in 1968 in the USSR.

In 1968 the USSR experimented how animals would be influenced by a expedition to space, and some of those pets were turtles. Those tortoise that acquired onto the rocket reached the speed of 24,790 MPH (39.896 km/h).

Now let’s take a quick look at the slowest tortoise in the world.

The Slowest turtle in the World

The slowest turtle in the civilization is the gigantic Galapagos tortoise through a speed averaging roughly 1 MPH (1.6 km/h). V the slowest taped speed that 0.23 MPH( 0.37 km/h), a speed that provides you wonder if they were even moving.

It is supposed to see the Galapagos tortoise named the slowest turtle in the world. Few of them got to the load of 400 kg (880 lb) and also lengths of nearly 1.9 meters (6.2 feet). And also a the majority of them reach ages over 100 years old. So it’s to be expected from a heavy and old pet not to move too fast. One various other reason why castle don’t relocate too quick is because they have no need to. Once they with maturity there is no natural predator able come hurt them therefore they have the right to move as slow-moving as they want to.

Comparing the speed of turtle to other Animals

Here are two charts that compare the slowest and also the more quickly turtles to various other animals.

The Slowest animals in the World

BirdAmerican woodcock5 mph (8 km/h)
ReptilesGiant Galapagos tortoise1 mph (1.6 km/h)
FishSeahorse0.01 mph (0.016 km/h)
InvertebratesBanana Slug0.000023 m/s

Highest Speeds tape-recorded in Animals

BirdPeregrine falcon242 mph (389 km/h)
BirdGolden eagle200 mph (320 km/h)
FishBlack marlin80 mph (129 km/h)
MammalCheetah75 mph (121 km/h)
FishSailfish68 mph (109 km/h)
FishSwordfish60 mph (97 km/h)
MammalLion50 mph (80 km/h)
MammalHuman28 mph (45 km/h)
ReptileGreen Iguana22 mph (35 km/h)
ReptileLeatherback sea turtle22 mph (35 km/h)
ReptileBlack mamba14 mph (23 km/h)
Why are Turtles so Slow?

There are a most reasons why turtles are so slow and also most the them need to do through evolution, basically turtles don’t should be quick to survive. It won’t be poor for them to it is in faster, it would certainly definitely help them survive far better but during their development they’ve discovered things that would certainly be much better for them 보다 speed.

In their habitats lock have accessibility to a lot of plants the they have the right to eat and also they don’t have to chase about prey too much because they can catch a most insects and other tiny types of prey without too lot effort.

Also the rate of their metabolism is very slow, and metabolism is likewise one the the main factors that determines the speed of one animal

So as whole turtles aren’t faster due to the fact that they don’t should be.

Can turtle Run?

So turtles space slow, but most pets are maybe to operation if they have to , deserve to turtles run? correct they can. For instance when a groper tortoise is threatened by an approaching human it will start relocating at speeds of numerous miles per hour which is a high speed compared to the usually slow-moving pace.

Cooter and slider turtles additionally sprint quickly toward the water if they are startled if on land.

But no matter how rapid a turtle will certainly run it will never be able to outrun one average human being running at a moderate peace.


So turtles really space slow, yet not have to as civilization think that they are. Many turtles have the right to move fast if lock think the they room in danger, and also when they acquire in water, it have the right to be quite tough to save up the pace.

See more: B And B Theaters Claremore Ok, B&B Theatres Claremore Cinema 8 Showtimes

I hope this post answers all of your questions. But if you have any type of questions left you should leave lock in the comment section and also I will certainly answer lock as quickly as possible.