Why Is My Turtle Always Digging?

Turtles are amazing pets to keep!

They do things that can quite fascinate us

One thing turtles tend to do is dig

Now when they keep digging it can be something we question

So – Why is my turtle always digging? 

Here’s the answer

A turtle digs through the gravel at the bottom of the aquarium to lay its eggs.

This indicates that the turtle has already deposited eggs or is likely to do so soon.

The digging behavior can signify many things, including whether the animal is looking for food or hiding from danger.

For your own good, you must know that you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

You may think of it to be the result of something negative.

Some aquatic and semi-aquatic animals dig the earth to hide from danger or to protect themselves from their dangerous surroundings.

However, this isn’t always the case.

Let’s get into more detail in this article

What Does It Mean When a Turtle Is Digging a Hole?

Turtles often dig holes because they need somewhere safe to lay their eggs.

The tell-tale signs include when your box turtle digs with its hind legs and backs itself into its hole, instead of digging with its front legs and going in head-first.

Here’s the thing

There are 3 main reasons why a turtle is digging holes


Reptiles are reptiles; they do not warm their own bodies.

Instead, they rely on external sources of heat to stay alive.

To regulate their internal temperatures, they dig holes in the earth to hide in during cold weather.

Turtles slow down at temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) because this triggers their internal thermostat, causing them to enter torpor.

Torpor is a state of reduced metabolism and body heat production during periods of low ambient temperatures.

They will begin searching for spots to dig under during cold weather.

If they cannot find any suitable locations, then they will dig until they reach ground level.

2. Lay Eggs

Turtles dig holes to hide during the winter months, but they also dig them to lay their eggs.

When it comes to protecting nests, Mother Nature has provided us with many ways to do just that.

One way she protects her babies is by creating decoys.

These fake nests look like actual ones but contain no eggs.

They’re used to trick animals into thinking there’s something else around besides the real thing.

When looking at a nest site, watch for signs that indicate the mother turtle is ready to lay her eggs.

She’ll often begin excavating a new nesting spot before laying her clutch of eggs.

Once the nest is complete, she’ll cover herself with sand and wait until nightfall to deposit her eggs.

Turtle eggs typically take between 1½ and 4 weeks to incubate before hatching.

They usually begin laying eggs during May through July.

Only in the spring and summer.

Turtles dig holes during the spring and summer months because they are preparing themselves for the cold weather ahead.

They do not dig nests to lay eggs.

Before I move onto the next reason I thought I’d share this with you

Do turtles lay eggs without mating? 

Female turtles can lay unfertilized eggs even though males aren’t present.

This happens because females produce hormones during mating seasons that cause ovulation.

The result? Unfertilized eggs that never develop into baby turtles.

Wild turtles typically only lay eggs in the springtime in response to changing temperatures and light cycles.

That’s why we see so many turtles out on the roadways when warm weather hits.

Most pet turtles don’t follow this rule since their environment does not vary much throughout the year.

3. Finding Food

Turtles sense small prey items through vibrations caused by movement.

They then dig down to consume those animals.

This activity is called “shallow burrowing.”

Turtles usually eat small invertebrates like worms, snails, insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and fish.

They also consume plants at times.

In addition, some species feed on carrion.

Turtles do not normally seek out prey; instead, they ambush unsuspecting animals.

Turtles only come onto shore to lay eggs.

The remainder of their lives are spent in the sea.

Turtles spend almost all of their lives underwater, but occasionally come onto shore to dig nests or seek refuge from predators.

Turtles often seek refuge under rocks or coral reefs during hot weather because this provides shade.

However, their first option to take shelter is usually beneath some nearby landmass


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