Sea turtles are the longest of all species of turtles, they are over 100 years old, if you acquire a sea turtle as a pet, chances are she will survive it, very fascinating, right? Learn all about them!
Information About Sea Turtles
Sea turtles are aquatic animals, subdivided into two families: Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae. From the leatherback turtle to the loggerhead turtle, sea turtles are almost entirely threatened or sea turtles endangered species in large part by people.
Unfortunately, the fact is that they face many dangers when traveling across the seas including accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear (also known as bycatch), the loss of nesting sites and feeding for coastal development, the poaching, and ocean pollution, including plastic.
These creatures are well adapted to the ocean although they need air to survive. Its size varies greatly, depending on the species, from the small Lora Turtle, which weighs between 80-100 pounds, to the huge leatherback turtle, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Characteristics Of Sea Turtles
Let’s look in-depth at the main characteristics of sea turtles:
Adult male and female sea turtles are the same sizes. Golfin turtles are the smallest sea turtles. They have shell lengths of about 51 to 75 cm (20 to 30 inches) and weigh 33 to 50 kg (73 to 110 lbs.).
The leatherback turtle is the largest of these living marine reptiles. Mature leatherback turtles reach shell lengths of approximately 1.2 to 1.8 m.
Sea turtles are characterized by their large and aerodynamic shell and their non-retractable head and limbs.
Depending on the species, the color range of sea turtles can be olive green, yellow, greenish-brown, reddish-brown or black.
The limbs are fins adapted for sea turtles swimming. Sea turtles are uncomfortable and vulnerable on land.
A sea turtle always keeps its head out of the shell, it does not retract it as a land turtle could naturally do.
Sea turtles have large upper eyelids that protect their eyes and have no visible ears.
The large bone shell of a sea turtle provides protection against predation and abrasion.
Types Of Sea Turtles
The species of sea turtles are comprised of two families, the Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae, comprising a total of 7 species. These are all sea turtles that exist:
1. Turtle Laud
Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea): This species is a highly migratory pelagic (deepwater) species.
It has an aerodynamic body and is capable of diving up to 4,265 feet. Its high-fat content provides insulation and gives it the ability to maintain deep body temperatures at a level higher than the surrounding cold water.
2. Green Turtle
Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas): It is herbivorous and inhabits the tropical and subtropical waters of the planet’s ocean basins. As it breeds the species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendencies; It becomes completely herbivorous from 25-35 cm in the shell size.
They feed on algae and marine plants, with the predominance of one of the foods when they are more abundant in the environment in which they are found; They can also present opportunistic habits in relation to food.
3. Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata): Lives in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, rarely found in temperate seas. It frequents shallow waters along with rocky coastal areas and coral reefs move to the bottom in search of food.
The maximum length of the shell is about 95 cm, in any case within a meter in length. The weight is, on average, 60 kg, however, there have also been cases of adult specimens that reach 120 kg.
4. Loggerhead Turtle
Turtle Boba (Caretta caretta): It is one of the three species of turtles still present in the Mediterranean and can be seen in Zakynthos because it lays its eggs on the beaches of the Gulf of Laganas.
These sea turtles can reach a considerable size (the largest weighs 140 kg and measures about 120 cm, while the smallest measures 80 cm), but they are still very fast.
The Caretta Caretta has the peculiarity of putting its sea turtles laying eggs back on the same beach where it was born and therefore it is of absolute importance to preserve the conditions for the survival of the nests, otherwise there is a risk of sea turtles extinction of the species.
5. Golf Turtle
Turtle Golfina (Lepidochelys olivacea): It lives mainly in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, also frequents the Atlantic Ocean but excluding the northern part. It is found both along with coastal areas, including bays and estuaries, and in the open sea.
It is one of the smallest sea turtles; The length of adult specimens varies between 60 and 70 cm, rarely reaching 75 cm. The average weight is 50 kg. The shell is characterized by the presence of 6 or more pairs of lateral axes (sometimes even asymmetrical). The color of the shell varies from olive green to gray, with more or less dark tones; the dish is paler, tending to yellow.
6. Lora Turtle
Lora turtle (Lepidochelys kempii): It is found in tropical and subtropical waters, it is the rarest and most endangered sea turtle.
Virtually all of its population now lives in the Gulf of Mexico and nests on a short stretch of sea turtles beach on the east coast of Mexico (Tamaulipas State).
About three times a year, in May and June, the so-called “arrivals” are made, in which the females arrive at the beach in one day. Unlike the other types of turtles, they nest in the day.
It is strongly threatened and its population recovers very slowly thanks to the use of TED (Turtle Excluder Device) in trawls for shrimp fishing.
7. Flat Turtle
Flat Turtle (Natator depressus): Lives in the coastal waters of northern Australia, between the Kimberley Islands and the Torres Strait, is rarer in the Great Barrier Reef area. They prefer to live in shallow water areas.
They are omnivorous that feed on invertebrates such as jellyfish, sea corals, sea cucumbers, crustaceans, mollusks, seaweed, and squid.
It grows up to 91 cm long and weighs between 70 and 100 kg. These turtles have an olive or gray shell and pale yellow plastron (lower shell).
Reproduction Of Sea Turtles
The turtle’s reproduction period begins around 15 years of age. It takes about two months each year, during which mating can take place. The female turtle can store sperm in a bag for fertilization without having to go to the mating act again in later years.
Turtles gather in the sea near the beaches for this mating period, almost always in the same place. In fact, females lay their eggs in the same place where they were born, less than a hundred meters away.
Spawning Of Sea Turtles
About a month later, the females leave the water, preferably at night to avoid excessive sun exposure, and dig a hole in the sand to lay a hundred eggs before covering them with sand and returning to the water. A female can go out and lay 2 to 3 times per egg-laying season. Egg-laying can take a long time, sometimes several hours, during which the female should not be disturbed. The female chooses a place protected from moisture, often on land inclined towards the sea, and quite bright.
The incubation lasts between 6 and 8 weeks and the eggs hatch at the same time.
What Do Sea Turtles Eat?
As with land and freshwater turtles, different species can have a very varied diet. We will know that they eat each of the sea turtle species:
Loggerhead Turtle: It has a fairly carnivorous diet that includes, starfish, aguamalas, jaibas, mussels, fish, and shrimp.
They have an extremely powerful beak that allows them to crush the hard shells of some of their prey. But still, they can be considered omnivorous since they occasionally (rarely) eat algae.
Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle: They have a diet composed mainly of marine angiosperms and algae for adult individuals, while for juveniles, the diet consists of jellyfish, crabs, sponges, and snails.
Turtle Golfina: It is a sea turtle and its diet is mainly meat. It feeds on aguamalas, molluscs, prawns, crustaceans, and fish. Occasionally, dead individuals are found on the beaches of intestinal obstructions due to the plastic bags that are in the sea and that resemble jellyfish with the movement of the waves.
Tortoise Lora and Tortuga Plana: They are mainly sea turtles predators who eat meat. Their diet consists of crustaceans, mollusks, and medium-sized fish.
Leatherback Turtle: It has a fairly carnivorous sea turtles diet. It is known that he eats fish, small crabs and especially jellyfish and turtles are regularly seen on the French coast that has died of intestinal obstructions due to plastic bags.
Sea turtles will always be the subject of continuous study by biologists and enthusiasts around the world, the types of turtles are the most at risk of extinction, which is why they require total attention and care for their natural environment.
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