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16 Interesting Characteristics of Sea Turtles

by corri

animals, sea animals, turtles, marine life, faunaThere are a lot of interesting ocean animals throughout the world and one of them called sea turtles. Unlike your usual turtles, sea turtles have so many mind blowing facts that we really need to know.

Furthermore, this ancient creatures deserves more love and recognition beside as the coolest surfers in the ocean.

  1. Age

It is believed that sea turtles have been around in this world since 110 million years ago. They are basically from the same time as the dinosaurs. They are one of the oldest creature on earth. On the other hand, you may want to read about Endangered Sea Turtles List Facts.

  1. Distribution

Sea turtles distribution mostly found in warm ocean throughout the world, even though it’s depends on each species. They are found nesting on tropical and subtropical beaches such as in Japan, Baja California Sur and Mexico. However, the biggest sea turtles which is the Leatherback have special ability to stand in cold water basin ocean such as Chile and Alaska.

  1. Habitat

Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water, unless it is mating season when females sea turtles will leave the water to lay eggs. Females sea turtles will back to their exact nesting ground where they came from, then they will lay an eggs and bury them and then back to the ocean.

Baby sea turtle will need time to get out of their nest after being hatched from their egg and it takes time about a week. Soon after they got out, they will find a way back to the ocean during night time and lives there, until mating season come again.

  1. Migration

Sea turtles swim throughout the whole ocean around hundres of miles between their first nesting ground and their feeding grown. It is usual for sea turtles to migrate in a far away place and in a very long time. There has been a study where sea turtles can travel for as far as 1400 miles, while the biggest sea turtles, the Leatherback migrate for more than 10.000 miles every year. Enrich your knowledge by read Endangered Animals in The Ocean

  1. Lifespan

This ancient beautiful creatures definitely lives for a very long time. They can live longer more than their fellow human, which is more than 80 years. Read more about Deep Ocean Ecosystems

  1. Diet

Sea turtles belongs to the carnivores categorized sea animal. Each sea turtles species satisfy their hunger on different sea animals. However, green sea turtles only feed on sea plants such as sea grass which make them the only vegetarian sea turtles.

Their diet depends on the subspecies, but commonly jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, sponges, snails, a lot types of algae and mollusks are their favorite foods. One more interesting fact about sea turtles is they are actually teeth-less. Sea turtles often mistakenly eat sea garbage such as plastic instead of jellyfish. This is one of many reason of what’s potentially killing them.

  1. Reproduction

One of many interesting facts about sea turtles is their gender and their reproduction systems.Baby sea turtles gender depends on the temperature of the sand. FI the sand below 30 degree celcius, then the sex of the turtle will be predominately male. On the other hand, if the sand temperature is above 30 degree celcius, means the sex of the turtle will be predominately female.

Sea turtles mating season depends on the species, but commonly it happens during March to October. They hatching process takes around 6 to 10 weeks and female sea turtles lay eggs between 70 -150 eggs every two to three years. Young sea turtle will make its own way back to the ocean during night time using moonlight as their direction.

However, not all 150 baby sea turtles will survive and make it to adulthood. In an ocean ecosystems, there are a lot of danger in the ocean waiting for baby sea turtles, such as predators and the journey itself has been really difficult for this youngsters. These hatchlings or baby sea turtles will spend their life in an open ocean for the first few years in their life and eventually move to protected bays, estuarles and nearshore.

  1. Hard shell

One unique characteristic of sea turtles, is thier hard shell. Sea turtles hard sell consist of two section whic is carapace and plastron. Carapace is the dorsal portion and plastron is the ventral portion. All sea turtles protected by its hard shell, except the Leatherback. The Leatherback has mosaic of bony plates to pretected its body instead of hard shell like the rest of its family.

Sea turtles cannot retract their legs, arms and head into their shells, unlike land turtles and this makes sea turtles more vulnerable againts the predators. . This ancient animal use carapace or its shell to swim through water.

  1. Reptiles

Sea turtles belongs to Chelonioidea kingdom, also known as marine turtles from phylym chordata classification. There are seven species of sea turtles which are green, loggerhead, kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, hawksbill, flatback and leatherback. You may want to read about Smallest Marine Mammals in the world

  1. Sea turtle’s gender

There are no different in size between female and male sea turtles. Female sea turtles will spend their life mostly deep in the water, until mating season come and they will need to leave the ocean and back to their home, their first nesting ground to dig and lay her eggs. After it’s all done, she’s going back again to the ocean.

Unlike female sea turtles, male sea turtles will never leave ocean because they don’t need to lay eggs on the ground. So basically they lives under the water in his entire life. This is one of many reason why it is hard to count male sea turtles and keep track of their number.

  1. Swimming or walking

Sea turtles are more adapted to ocean ecosystems and life systems, however they do sometimes need air to survive. Female sea turtles and baby sea turtles walk slowly on the ground because their flipper are actually designed more for swimming and less for walking. They are one of a great swimmer, they can swim from Papua to United States.

  1. Taxonomy

Sea turtles has a lot of synonyms, such as Chelonii, Chlonopteria, Chelonia, Edigitata, Oiacopodae, and Pterodactyli. They belong to the Animalia Kingdom and superfamily of Chelonioidea.

  1. Species

There are about seven species of sea turtles spread all over the world. Each species has different colors between yellow, greenish and black. These seven species are :

  • Kemp’s Ridley: The smallest sea turtles is Kemp’s Ridley. They are about 30 inches long and weight about 36 – 45 kg. Kemp’s eats crabs, Kemp’s Ridley is the most endangered sea turtle due to commercial shrimp fishing
  • Green Sea turtle: Green sea turtles can swim at the ocean for about 5 hours long. Green sea turtle is the only vegetarian sea turtles compares to the rest, they only eat sea grasses
  • The Loggerhead: The loggerhead eats crabs and clams, the heavy shelled animals
  • Olive Ridley: Olive Ridley often found nested in a tropical beach in India. Their habitat is mostly coastal and they are most likely resting in surface water.
  • Hawksbill: Hawkbill feed on sponges and other invertebrates. It is quite difficult to track Hawksbill number since their nest usually protected by beach vegetation.
  • Flatback: flatback Sea turtle or Natator depressus face more vulnerability to habitat lost and their exploitation since their habitat is completely coastal.
  • Leatherback: Leatherback is the enormous and the heaviest sea turtles out there. Adult leatherback can weight over 907 kg and they are over 1.8 m long. The leatherback eats jellyfish and soft body animals to satisfy their hunger.
  1. Sea turtles can cry

Sometimes you will see sea turtles crying, but they are actually not. It is their own way to empty excess salt in their eyes and doing some cleaning to refresh their vision.

  1. Respiratory

Sea turtles can swim inside basin ocean water for up to 5 hours and their flippers basically make the one of the best swimmer in the world. However, they do need to go up to the surface and breath atmospheric air since they have lungs

  1. Habits and Behaviour

Sea turtles is a loner. They spend their lives alone until mating season come. However, each species cope differently, some of them will live and feed with others. Sea turtles also leaves their eggs on their nest ground without guiding them back to the sea. It is very possible that young sea turtles never seen their mother or their father even once for the rest of their lives.

Due to series of unfortunate events, such as habitat loss, sea turtles eggs and meat consumption, accidental capture, by catch or entanglement, coastal development, poaching and sea pollution make six of seven sea turtles’s status right now is endangered. Surprisingly, human takes a big part on this threat to sea turtles.

Here I give you video about someone who have diving with green sea turtle. Check this out.

Unlike their friend, the dinosaurs that has became extinct 65 million years ago, sea turtles have survived throughout the weather changes until this very recent year. We need to learn more about what’s threatening and what’s potentially killing them in order to save their life.

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