Amazing Facts

Sea turtles

Sea turtles are reptiles that live in a marine or brackish environment.
The flippers of sea turtles are long and paddle-like, making them
excellent for swimming but poor for walking on land. Another
characteristic that helps sea turtles swim easily is their streamlined
carapace, or shell.

Sea turtles are classified in the Class Reptilia,
Subclass Anapsida and Order Chelonii. There are seven recognized
species of sea turtles, six of which are in the Family Cheloniidae (the
hawksbill, green, flatback, loggerhead, Kemp's ridley and olive ridley
turtles), with only one (the leatherback) in the family Dermochelyidae.

Sea turtles start their lives in eggs buried in the sand. After a
two-month incubation, the young turtles hatch and run to the sea,
facing attack by a variety of predators (e.g., birds, crabs, fish)
along the way. They drift at sea until they are about a foot long and
then, depending on the species, may move closer to shore to feed.

Sea turtles mature at around age 30. The males
then spend their whole lives at sea, while females mate with the males
at sea and then go to the beach to dig a hole and lay their eggs.
Female sea turtles may lay eggs several times during a single season.

Sea turtle migrations are extreme - with turtles sometimes traveling
thousands of miles between cooler feeding grounds and warm nesting
grounds. A leatherback turtle was reported in January 2008 to have
undertaken the longest known vertebrate migration - over 12,000 miles
(this was later surpassed by the Arctic tern, who was found to make a
record 50,000-mile migration.

Related Tags: Sea  Reptiles  Species  
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