a turtles penis

The Anatomy of a Turtle’s Penis

Turtles may not be the most romantic creatures, but they do possess a curious male anatomy. The penis of a turtle is a bit different from that of other vertebrates. Here is some interesting information on the anatomy of a turtle’s penis.

Size and Shape

Turtle penises are small, usually under 2 inches in length. They tend to be long, thin and tube-like in shape.

Penis Bone

Unlike most other vertebrates, turtles have a penis bone, also known as a ‘baculum’. This bone helps it maintain an erection.

Sexual Position

In most turtles, the male’s penis faces backward. This is so he can mate with a female from behind.


Unlike mammals, turtles don’t experience erections in the same way. An erection is triggered by nerve impulses, and turtles don’t have the same nerve system as other animals. Turtles must manually stimulate the penis by pushing against the female’s abdomen with it.


As turtles are often kept in captivity, some turtles may have vasectomies to prevent breeding. Since turtles don’t have a scrotum, vasectomies are usually done by cutting and removing the vas deferens.


Turtle penises may be small, but they are fascinating creatures nonetheless. With a penis bone, reversed orientation and manual erection process, turtles are truly unique.

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