Can Tortoises & Turtles Live Without Their Shell?

Someone viewing a turtle or a tortoise for the first time may come to a wrong conclusion about its anatomy. It’s understandable. People wear clothes for protection. A turtle or tortoise shell seems awful a lot. It looks like their legs and tails are sticking out of their shell, like they can slide to.

So can turtles and tortoises live without their shell? Tortoises and turtles certainly can’t live without their shells. The shell is not removable. It’s fused to the tortoises and turtles bones so that they can’t live without it.

In actuality, the shell of a turtle or a tortoise has nerve endings, so it can feel it touching when the shell is damaged and it hurts. Asking a tortoise would be like asking a human. Apart from turtle foods, there are a few notes on all this however, so please keep reading to find out more. Turtle’s or your tortoise’s life may depend on it.

Tortoise and turtle shells clarified

Turtle and tortoise shells are similar and they grow in ways that are similar. They grow out of the shells or don’t molt. A shell constantly grows with the turtle or tortoise since they’re part of the creature’s body. It will always be an ideal size.

The shell is part of an exoskeleton. That means that part of the system is on the exterior of the body rather than the interior like a skeleton. In the event of turtles and tortoises, the top exoskeleton is fused into spine and the ribs.

Sensitive shells feel pain

you’d feel pain if you broke your arm, part of your skeleton. The shell is much like that. There are nerve endings in the vicinity of the shell, so turtles or a tortoise may feel you touching him, hitting him, or attempting to pull off the shell!

Additionally, it suggests that if a turtle or tortoise gets hole or a crack in its shell, it is like one of your bones busting.

Different shells for different functions

While most of this guide is true for turtles and tortoises, it is worth mentioning their shells can be a small different case in point:  tortoises are property animals and need their shells for land-based protection. Turtles spend part or all of their lives and need to be compact and easy to glide through the water.

Therefore, tortoises have really shells coated in keratin. Sea turtles have a covering over their shells. Sea and land turtle shells can collapse anywhere in between.

Even all turtle and tortoise shells can be damaged and cause great pain.

Can turtles and tortoises get out of the shell?

No and you should not attempt to force them to. There’s absolutely not any way to remove a turtle or tortoise shell, since the shell is part of the creature’s exoskeleton. Attempting to do so could kill the turtle and would cause great pain.

Allow me to repeat this: Please, please, please don’t attempt to have a tortoise or a turtle out of its shell! Imagine someone trying to peel the skin off your back or to eliminate your spine and ribs. Not a nice thought, is it?

They could tuck their limbs inside while they can’t escape from their shells. Their shells can shut preventing anything. Never try to pry a tortoise or turtle shell muscles holding the shell closed are powerful and if you try to pry it open, the creature will be hurt by you.

Can turtles and tortoises survive a shell that is broken?

Thankfully, yes! It’s a serious condition, although a shell is not an immediate death sentence. A crack or break in a casing means that tortoise or the turtle’s body is opened up. It is like a gash on your skin or a crack in your fingernail.

If left untreated any injury like this may result in significant infections.

From time to time, a broken shell is not a consequence of an injury. Unsanitary tank ailments and poor diet can cause ulcers on and around. This is known as “shell rot” and it can be fatal.

Deficiency of diseases, not sunlight and calcium can lead to abnormalities that can lead to shell ulcers. If your tortoise or turtle is growing rot start looking for signs of liver disease, kidney damage and thyroid problems.

Can a shell heal by itself?

Nature is a fantastic thing. They have the capacity since turtle and tortoise shells are made from living natural substances. A shell can heal by itself, as your arm that is broken will knit itself back together.

It is best to not leave a cracked or broken shell untreated although the shells can heal by themselves. Even the fracture may leave your pet vulnerable to germs as stated before.

Veterinarians can help along the healing process by sealing the crack using a bonding material that is unique and applying antibiotics. Cracks and fractures are easier to fix than holes that are bigger, but allow your vet to determine how to proceed. It may not be a major of a hole to repair if it seems bad to you.