Turtles don't need oxygen to live!?!?
Updated: Feb 1
Well, they do need it most of the time, but they can survive for weeks without it!
Many animals would die in minutes without oxygen because it is required in the body to keep all our cells alive and working properly. Freshwater turtles (like our Painted Turtle) are able to switch to using an oxygen-free, or "anaerobic", process to keep their cells alive if there isn't enough oxygen in the water over winter hibernation. This is very risky because that anaerobic process creates extra acids in the body, which lead to serious kidney and liver problems. To combat this, Painted Turtles take minerals like calcium carbonate out of their shells and use those minerals to balance out the acid in their body, just like a Tums tablet balances out the acid that creates heartburn in our stomachs!
Want to learn more about Painted Turtles? Visit the resources section of our website at www.osstewardship.ca/resources .