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Why Do Turtles Stack? Why Turtles Pile Top Other? [Amazing]

Why do turtles stack is a question asked by a lot of people? I believe you own more than one turtle, and you have seen them stacking. The smallest turtle being sometimes at the bottom may raise some concern, and that is probably the reason you are here. To look for answers. Well, you came to the right place. I was also in the same concerned about my little turtle?so I had to know more to try and help him. I researched, and today, I want to share the knowledge I gathered.

Let us look deeply down on this matter and understand our turtles. To make it easier to understand everything about turtles stacking, we need to know how the stack works first.

why turtles pile top other

How The Stack Works

I have seen several turtles on top of each other. I came to understand that they do it for their benefit. They will do it when their basking area is not high enough to help them absorb more UV rays. When they stack, they get closer and high enough to absorb more UV rays. Turtles’ stacking is not that difficult. One turtle will just climb on top of the other turtle. The turtles will hardly withdraw when one turtle is trying pile. Although the turtle on top gains more, they know that they need to work as a team to gain together. Even the turtle beneath gains from the stack. Stay tuned to understand they gain.

Other Possible Reasons Why Turtles Stack

There are some other reason turtles are believed to stack. I don’t know how true these reasons are but they are just hypothesis and they could be proven otherwise. One of the reasons is that they the stack to create an illusion that they are big and strong united. This I believe is to scare away the enemies. I find this hard to believe as we all know how slow turtles are and a predator won’t just sit and wait for the turtles to pile and get scared away. This makes no sense, but the theory should work as another possible reason for why do turtles stack. Another theory that contradicts the original and similar to the second reason is that they strive to get the lowest place for insecurity purposes. They, therefore, try as much as possible to get shielded from predators. This explanation is also very lame, but it will do.

Which Turtle Is Better Positioned?

Since the turtles lack a better basking area and they cannot get enough heat and UVB rays from the sun, their system of changing and bettering this seems off. This is because the only one who seems to gain is the turtle on top. This is true as he is the one receiving the UV rays and the warmth from the sun. What makes me wonder is that they never scramble for the top position. From my research, I learned that the reason they don’t scramble is that they know that they all need to gain, and they cannot do it alone. So they join hands and work together. Thus what do the turtles in the other positions gain? Since they cannot obtain the UV rays directly as they have the shield, they enjoy the warmth and heat from the other turtles. This is the reason they will not fight for the top position.

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Is Turtle Stacking Dangerous For The Turtles?

The reason I decided to start this research is that I feared my little turtle was experiencing more stress from the bigger turtles when they stacked. This can be a fear to most people, but although it is logically wrong, they can take it. Even the smallest turtle can carry the biggest turtle. This is made possible by the strong shells on their back. The advantage that the small turtles have is that since they are small in size, the turtles on top will lose balance and fall off. It is not always the case that the small turtles will be at the bottom. They may also be at the top. The only reason stacking may be dangerous is when a turtle has a broken shell or the turtle is suffering from a shell problem. This can cause more damage if the turtles stack on top of the suffering turtle. Other than that, stacking is considered to be very safe.

Why Are My Pet Turtles Stacking And What Should I Do?

By now, I know you understand that stacking is done for the sake of all the turtles. They do it to ensure that they all gain from the teams’ effort. The most apparent reason why your turtles may be stacking is that you may have a small basking area or a basking area that is shielded from the sun’s rays. All turtles strive to get the rays from the sun, and lack of a right basking area could cause more harm than you can imagine. This is the reason the turtles come up with an alternative way to get the UVB rays. If you find your turtles stacking, I would recommend checking your basking area for the turtles. It may not be at the right spot. Try and change the basking area and making it higher to ensure that the sun rays get to reach the whole of the basking area easily. By doing this, you will have eliminated the issue of your turtles stacking on top of each other.

Is Stacking A Social Activity?

I would not call turtles stacking a social activity. Turtles are known to be very peaceful and anti-social animals, and they prefer being alone most of the time. This, therefore, means that they would not be stacked as a social activity. Instead, they are after something more meaningful and this to get more UV rays and heat from the sun. We should always do our best to ensure that the situation never comes to a point where the turtles are stacking on each other. We should get the turtles a basking area that is open enough to get the sun rays.


To conclude, we have seen the reason why turtles pile top other turtles. This is to ensure that they solve the basking area problem. To safeguard your turtles are healthy and they do not pile on top of each other, you should try and get them a right basking area that is big enough. About the hypothesis, they will need more research to prove them right. For the time being, they remain to be only theories. When the turtles’ stack, the turtle on top is the most advantaged. He absorbs UV rays without any distractions. The rest of the turtles gain heat from the pile. The turtle at the bottom only gets heat from the top turtle. The middle turtle gets heat from above and below. With this little knowledge, you should not get scared whenever you see your big turtles on top of your little turtle.

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