Do Box Turtles Live In Water? – Are Box Turtles Aquatic?

Turtles are of various shapes and sizes. Some live in water, and others prefer land. Turtles can eat plant and animal-based food, but their inclination depends on whether they are sea or terrestrial turtles. If you are planning to adopt a box turtle, then you might want to know, “Do box turtles live in water?” No, it cannot live in water.

Box turtles are terrestrial species, indicating that they live on land, but it does not mean they can not go to water. The natural habitat of these turtles is land rather than water. You should know everything about box turtles before owning them. I have seen some people that do not know how to handle them.

Can Box Turtles Live In Water?

Standard box turtles do not live in water but like to live near the water where they can get into it when they want. They need water for their living conditions, but they need not be submerged 24/7 in water. They need water basically for hydration, like every other living organism needs water essentially to survive. 

Box turtles like to live on land and prefer warm areas, but the risk of dehydration increases rapidly here. As they lay down under sun rays for basking, they need fresh water to avoid hydration. You should create a habitat where box turtles can swim and bask without any hassle.

Subspecies Within Box Turtles:

Following are the subspecies of box turtles:

  • Asian box turtle 
  • Yucatan box turtle
  • Eastern box turtle
  • Spotted box turtle 
  • Mexican box turtle
  • Coahuilan box turtle
  • Common box turtle

Asian Box Turtle – Do Asian Box Turtles Live In Water?

The habitat of Asian box turtles is mixed, and they live on the bank of streams, ponds, or swamps. Some of them like to live in the dense bushes near water as well.  

Yucatan Box Turtle – Do Yucatan Box Turtles Live In Water?

Yucatan box turtles are tough to find, and they like humid areas. Yucatan box turtles are hard to find, and they love moist areas. Many species are found in Yucatan land and live in tropical regions. They become active in the rainy season and love to live alone. 

Eastern Box Turtle – Do Eastern Box Turtles Live In Water?

They have further two subspecies, desert box turtles and ornate box turtles. Depending upon species, they live in grasslands or deserts. In winter, they go to hibernation by digging holes in the earth. Ornate box turtles like to stay near water, while desert box turtles can survive for as long without water. 

Spotted Box Turtle – Do Spot Box Turtles Live In Water?

There are two subspecies of spotted box turtles, the southern box turtle, and the northern box turtle. Since there is little information about them, they are challenging to find. To eat, they collect water bugs near clean water and want to live alone. 

Mexican Box Turtle – Do Mexican Box Turtles Live In Water?

A Mexican box turtle makes its home near the water in a leafy area. Though they have to live on land, they need water to collect bugs from moisture, and bugs are their essential diet. 

With time, they must soak themselves in water. Although they stay in the water for hours, they wish to stay near their house. They will never go more than 200 miles away from their home.

Coahuilan Box Turtle – Do Coahuilan Box Turtles Live In Water?

Coahuilan box turtles, also called aquatic box turtles, have much more information than any other marine box turtles. They love to live in the water. They love to live in the water.

According to the hypothesis, they spend almost 90 percent of their life in the water. Bushes and grass are ideal for them as a habitat. After some time, they came ashore to bask. 

Common Box Turtle – Do Common Box Turtles Live In Water?

They prefer to live in available land and dry locations. Marshes, meadows, and pastures are their ideal habitats. A standard box turtle lives near swamps, streams, and ponds. They like to live in a moist, dense forest but want less fruit. 

do box turtles live in water

Do Box Turtles Like Water?

Box turtles need to swallow water for swimming, so they can get relaxed and control their body temperature as they are reptiles (known as cold-blooded animals). They cannot maintain their body temperature themselves. 

To become toasty and friendly, they lay in the sunshine, and then to cool down, they get into the water. For example, you like to tan for a few hours, go to the pool to cool down, and read a book under a palm tree. What a good life they enjoy. 

Do Box Turtles Need Water?

Box turtles need water to drink and soak themselves in to maintain their body temperature. Humans have a part in their brain called the hypothalamus that works with sweat glands and skin to control our body temperature at 37°C. 

When a bacteria or a disease attacks or our body temperature is down, the hypothalamus warms or shivers the body to control temperature. Our body constantly works to keep us alive since box turtles do not have these functions to shade, water, and sun to stay healthy. 

Are Box Turtles Aquatic?

We considered box turtles semi-aquatic because there are a few differences between a box turtle and an aquatic turtle. Box turtles can never eat or dive underwater, and they can not even reside on land and swim in the water. Aquatic turtles rarely come to land, sleep in the water, forage, eat in water and live in water. 

If you want, you can give them a dunk in the kiddie pool so that they can enjoy this. Box turtles like to spend some time in shallow water where they can not submerge completely. They can eat food sitting in the water to enjoy but cannot eat or hunt for food underwater. 

Final Words

Do Box Turtles Live In Water? They cannot live in water but drink water and swim to survive. As a terrestrial species, box turtles can not live in water, but they can go into swallowed water to relax for a short period. Mostly, they live on land but need water to keep fit.

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Hey, I've done my Ph.D. in Marine Biology. I'm a turtle enthusiast and have been owning turtles for the last 22 years and dedicated to sharing my experience to help you in pet turtle upbringing.