20 Facts About Sea Turtles!

Sea turtles are critically important to the oceans ecosystem.

Six out of the seven sea turtle species are classified as threatened or endangered. 

10 Fun Facts About Sea Turtles

  1. The largest sea turtle is the Leatherback Sea Turtle growing to a whopping 1.8 m – 2.2 m and weighing between 250 kg – 700 kg.

  2. In contrast the smallest of the sea turtles is Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles growing to about 60 cm (2 ft) and weighing between 35 kg - 45 kg.

  3. Sea turtles can stay underwater for up to 7 hours whilst resting. Though they cannot breath underwater, they can hold their breath for an incredibly long time.

  4. They have been around for an incredibly long time. Sea turtles have survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and lived on Earth for over 220 million years.

  5. Many species of sea turtle start out as carnivorous but as they grow and mature they begin to prefer to eat more plants.

  6. Sea turtles actually have incredible eyesight and sense of smell. They are able to feel vibrations through the water, even at very low frequencies.

  7. These turtles do not have teeth! The green sea turtle has serrated ridges along the inside of their mouths which they use to tear seagrass and scrape algae up.

  8. Loggerhead sea turtles will drink the oceans salt water and then excrete the salt from their eyes in the form of tears.

  9. Females will lay between 150 and 200 eggs every two to three years in clutches on beaches along with hundreds of other females.

  10. Juvenile sea turtles usually sleep on the surface of the water with their front flippers folded over their backs. Adult and older sea turtles can be found sleeping on the ocean floor, often wedged under rocks and reefs. 

Sea Turtle Image

10 Interesting Facts About Sea Turtles

  1. There are 7 species of sea turtles, 2 are critically endangered - Hawksbill and Kemp's Ridley - 1 is endangered - Green sea turtles - 3 are threatened - Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Loggerheads - and the Flatback sea turtles are listed as data deficient on IUCN but in Australia are listed as endangered.

  2. Sea turtles are not the fastest swimmer, they usually swim along at speeds of between 0.9 to 5.8 mph.

  3. Male sea turtles never leave the ocean, however females can be seen crawling up beaches to lay their eggs. They will return to the same beach on which they were born, and even if they haven't been back in 20 or 30 years they will always be able to find their way to that specific beach.

  4. The temperature determines the sex of baby sea turtles. Colder temperatures will produce male hatchlings whilst warmer temperatures will see an increase in female hatchlings.

  5. Sea turtles are able to live for a very long time! It is difficult to determine the exact age of a sea turtle, however it is thought that the oldest sea turtle was over 90 years old!

  6. Hatchling turtles that emerge from their nests during night use moonlight to find their way to the ocean. Too many artificial lights coming from the beach fronts or nearby roads can disorientate and confuse the young turtles which can lead to many injuries and deaths.

  7. Sea turtles can be found throughout the oceans of the world. Leatherbacks in particular swim miles across the world, where as the flatback sea turtles have the smallest range and stick to the coastal waters of Northern Australia, Southern Indonesia, and Southern Papua New Guinea.

  8. Sea turtle hatchlings are targeted by predators such as crabs and birds once they emerge from their nests and when they reach the ocean they become prey for many other marine animals. However once they reach adulthood they are relatively safe from predators, aside from the occasional shark attack.   

  9. They actually face many more threats from human activity. From getting caught in ghost fishing gear and plastic pollution, to erosion of beaches and human interaction on beaches. Consuming ocean pollution and swimming in chemical pollution can cause health problems and be fatal.  Even climate change has an impact on sea turtles, as it alters their life cycles and reduces the amount of beach that some turtles nest on. Higher temperatures can cause an increase in female turtles being born and limits and reduces the number of breeding pairs. 

  10. The sea turtle species that builds its nest fastest is the Hawksbill which is estimated to complete the process in just 45 minutes! On average it takes most sea turtles 1 to 3 hours to nest.

Sea turtle on shore

Are you a Turtle Lover?

We have an amazing offer for sea turtle lovers! We support the Billion Baby Turtles Project in their goals to rescue 1 billion sea turtle hatchlings, so ever one of Turtle Rescue Bracelets sold saves a sea turtle hatchling. These bracelets are made from carved stone and woven rope AND they are just $1.

Claim yours today and help us reach our goal of saving 50,000 baby sea turtles, so far, thanks to your support we have saved over 23,000, we are almost halfway there!

Turtle Rescue Bracelet

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