Facts About The Sea Turtle

Meet the sea turtle, one of the most beautiful and endangered species in the animal kingdom. The sea turtle’s scientific name is Cheloniidae which means “turtle with a shell.” The turtle gets its common name from its large, hard-shell (carapace) on its back and sides that protect it while swimming.

It also has flippers (sometimes called feet) to help propel itself through the water.The sea turtle travels worldwide looking for suitable habitats to swim into. Sea Turtles can travel up rivers and sea currents all the way back to the sea if they do not find a suitable habitat that meets their needs. They will dive deep to seek food on the ocean floor; sea turtles have been known to dive as far down as 3000 ft (951 m). Once sea turtles reach maturity, they go to sea for about five years before going back to lay eggs originally laid on another beach or a sandy place.


What does a sea turtle eat?

Sea turtles eat seagrasses and seaweeds, such as sea lettuce, sea parsley, sea palm, sea cabbage, and sea celery. They also eat jellyfish, shrimp worms, and mollusks. However, sea turtles are primarily known for eating snails. When sea turtles find good food on the ocean floor, they will cover their eyes with their necks to protect them from sand or mud that could be stirred up by something bigger than themselves. The neck is also used to help find a comfortable position in the sand where it can rest its head after digging a nest to lay eggs or sunning itself on warm shores.
Sea turtles do not drink water. Instead, they get all the water they need from their diet. Therefore, food containing a lot of water, like green plants, will help them stay hydrated better than prey with very little water.


Why is the sea turtle endangered?

Sea turtles are endangered because sea turtle eggs are considered a delicacy in certain cultures. As sea turtles lay their eggs on the shore, some of the sea turtle eggs are gathered and eaten by sea turtle egg poachers. The sea turtles also have a finite number of nesting beaches to lay their eggs. Shorebirds such as herons and gulls will eat sea turtle eggs that are laid on the beach. Some sea turtle species also die off due to pollution.


How many sea turtles are left?

There are about 25 sea turtle species. Only one sea turtle species, the leatherback sea turtle, is not at high risk of extinction. The other 24 sea turtle species are classified as high-risk, with their population trends declining. Sea turtles are endangered due to poaching for their meat and eggs, habitat loss, natural disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes, entanglement in nets used by commercial fisheries, collisions with boats, and climate change which could make sea turtle nesting sites inhospitable.
By the time sea turtles are old enough to breed, more than half of them will have been killed by humans in some way.

All sea turtle species are now considered at risk of extinction due to global warming as sea temperatures continue to rise, seagrasses are destroyed, and sea turtle nesting sites are washed away. In addition, sea turtle’s hatchlings struggle to survive long enough to reach the sea because their nests become flooded as droughts change rainfall patterns or artificial lighting interferes with mothers’ ability for night navigation.

Can a sea turtle breathe underwater?

Sea turtles cannot breathe underwater and must come to the sea surface to breathe air every few minutes. When resting, they can hold their breath for up to 2 hours and even up to 7 hours while sleeping.

How long do sea turtle eggs need to hatch?

Sea turtle eggs can take anywhere from 65 days (for the flatback sea turtle) to 150 days (for a leatherback sea turtle). Some species nest in warmer climates, and warm sand speed up egg development. So, although hatchlings are born with their soft shells already hardening, they will still have their vulnerable stage after emerging from the nest until they can swim freely on their own.


More Facts About The Sea Turtle

Sea turtles swim through oceans and can swim thousands of miles at a time. For example, one sea turtle swam 15,000 miles (24,040 kilometers) in three years! However, they can’t breathe underwater and must surface every few minutes to get fresh air into their lungs.
They can dive up to 3000 feet below the ocean’s surface.
Because sea turtles need both land and sea, they regularly migrate between land and sea areas. Most nest on beaches near where they live in the ocean; however, some species prefer rocky or coral islands rather than sandy ones for nesting grounds. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of sea turtles travel to our coastlines from all over the world.
While they are generally found in tropical or sub-tropical seas, they are not opposed to cooler seawater, as long as the seafloor is deep enough for them to dive into. The sea turtle can swim up rivers to lay eggs and bask on beaches in search of food. Sea turtles have been known to survive temperatures of 9 degrees F (-13 C). They can also tolerate extreme heat; sea turtles can even handle water temperatures that exceed 160 degrees F (70 C). The sea turtle’s body temperature stays between 91 and 99 F (33 and 37 C).

Sea Turtle Types

Leaderback Sea Turtle
Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle
Green sea turtle

The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) lives mainly in warmer climates such as tropical South Pacific waters near Indonesia.

The green turtles (Chelonia mydas) inhabit the Great Barrier Reef off Australia and Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

The Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Considered to be threatened, they are protected in many areas through conservation efforts.

The Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is known more commonly as Caretta caretta, although it has several other names, including the loggerhead turtle. They can be found along both coasts of Florida and parts of the eastern coastline of North America, among other areas. Like some other sea turtles, this one is endangered due to loss of habitat and poachers taking them for their shells. One would presume that they live longer than most sea turtles since their lifespan has not been documented thoroughly yet, but estimates range from 50 to 75 years old.

Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea)
The Olive Ridley sea turtle, also known as the Pacific Ridley sea turtle, is the most common sea turtle in world coastal waters. It is a small to medium-sized species with adults reaching an average length of around 70 cm and a weight of about 25 kg. The carapace (shell) of adult female olive ridley sea turtles tend to be narrower than other species, but they are still very wide compared to others because it has the widest tail fluke among all sea turtles. They can live up to 69 years in deep ocean waters ranging from tropical regions to sub-Antarctic regions, namely the eastern Pacific Ocean and the western Indian Ocean. Their homing instincts allow them to return to the same beaches where they were born within a few years. Olive Ridley sea turtles occupy a wide range of marine habitats, including shallow coral reefs and seagrass beds. When swimming in pelagic (open water) environments, it is common for this turtle species to dive down as far as 300 meters deep!

The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is the most endangered of all sea turtles. It is named after American whaling captain William Foster (the “Bully”) Kemp, who was also the first to report a large nesting aggregation in St. Joseph Bay, Florida, on May 10th, 1823. Since this date, they have been known as Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. They are currently threatened by poaching and accidental capture in commercial longline fisheries, shrimp trawling activities, habitat loss from coastal erosion and development, nest depredation by native birds, and hatchling disorientation from artificial lighting at night. Overall, it is believed that approximately 12-15% of the wild population perish every year through these combined threats.

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are the smallest among all sea turtle species, with adults reaching a length of around 35-40 cm and only weighing about 15 kg (less than half the weight of an adult female Olive Ridley). In addition, their shells are very flat to make flippers more effective for swimming. These factors make them highly vulnerable to longline gear that can accidentally entangle them.
The Kemp’s ridley typically inhabits warm tropical waters above the Florida Keys, South Padre Island, Galveston Island in Texas, and Mexico. Still, they have also been found in some sub-Antarctic regions like New Zealand.

The flatback sea turtle (Natator Depressus) is the third smallest of all sea turtle species. It is black or brown with a large, somewhat flattened carapace and a small head. Adults usually reach an average length of 30-45 cm and weigh around 40 kg (less than half the weight of an adult female Olive Ridley). Despite their small size, they are known to be one of the fiercest predators in their environment. To hunt for food, they will ambush fish, shrimp, etc., by using their flipper claws to hold onto rocks until they get close enough, then lunge forward to catch them with their mouth! They have even been observed eating jellyfish when there is otherwise little food during summertime!
This species is listed as Least Concern.

Can you get a sea turtle pet?

NO! You can’t get a sea turtle as a pet. Sea turtles are an endangered species protected by law in most countries, so you cannot buy or sell them. Heads up! We have cool Sea Turtle Art Prints in our store. They’re much cheaper than a real Turtle but just as cute and cuddly looking! Perfect for adding some sea to your home!