Did you know that sea turtles have been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth? In fact, the oldest known sea turtle fossil is actually over 120 million years old. To put that into perspective, the dinosaurs went extinct just about 65 million years ago. Sea turtles survive in oceans and seas all around the world with the exception of the extremely cold northern and southern parts of the globe. These amazing creatures can live as long as eighty (80) years in their natural habitat. It’s no wonder why people are fascinated with sea turtles. If you would like to lean some more interesting facts about sea turtles please keep reading.
Interesting Fact #1:
There are seven (7) species of sea turtles. They are the Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley, and Flatback
Interesting Fact #2:
The Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, and Olive Ridley species of sea turtle live in every ocean with the exception of the Artic and Antarctic. However, the Flatback only lives in Australian waters.
Interesting Fact #3:
The Leatherback is the biggest species of sea turtle and can weigh up to an incredible 2,000 pounds. The Leatherback is also the only sea turtle that does not contain a bony and hard shell. The Leatherback’s shell is basically flexible and has a rubbery feel to the touch. On the other hand, the shells of the other sea turtles are made of thick plates called scutes.
Interesting Fact #4:
Sea turtles tend to take extremely long journeys between their feeding areas and their breeding areas. For example, the leatherback turtle travels an average of 3,700 miles each way or 7,400 miles round trip. That’s a lot of swimming.
Interesting Fact #5:
Sea turtles mate at sea. The female sea turtles come ashore on beaches to lay their eggs. They dig a hole in the sand, then deposit their eggs (up to 100 eggs at a time, cover it back up, then return to the sea. Male sea turtles never leave the ocean. After approximately 60 days, the eggs hatch and the tiny hatchlings make their way from the nest to the water at night.
The sex of sea turtles is determined by the temperature in the nest. Cooler incubation temperatures produce male hatchlings and warmer incubation temperatures produce female hatchlings. Of course temperatures that fluctuate between the two extremes will produce a mix of male and female hatchlings.
Interesting Fact #6:
Most sea turtles are carnivores. That means they eat meat, however their diet varies depending on the particular species. Sea turtles also eat shrimp, seaweed, crabs, jellyfish, snails, sponges, algae and mollusks. However, Green sea turtles are unique because they’re primarily herbivores, eating mostly sea grasses and algae. This diet is what gives their cartilage and fat a greenish color (not their shells), which is where their name comes from.
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