Sea Turtle Fact Sheet

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Information about Sea Turtle Fact Sheet

Published on February 19, 2009

Author: SWcamp_Junkie



This is a supplemental fact sheet with cool info about sea turtles.

Sea Turtle Fact Sheet Most scientists recognize seven species and one subspecies of sea turtles: the green sea turtle, the  black sea turtle (a subspecies of the green), the loggerhead sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the olive ridely sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, the flatback sea turtle and the leatherback sea turtle. The largest species of sea turtle is the leatherback reaching 3.9-6.2 ft. (1.2-1.9 m) and 441-1,116 lb.  (200-506 kg). The larges ever recorded weighed 2, 019 lbs (916 kg). The Kemp’s ridley and olive ridley are the smallest species reaching 22-30 in.(55-75 cm) and 66-110  lbs. (30-50 kg). Some species of sea turtles like the green live in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the  world. Others, like the Kemp’s ridley live in specific areas. Adult Kemp’s ridley sea turtles live in the Gulf of Mexico. Juveniles will range between temperate and tropical coastal areas of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Male sea turtles spend their whole lives at sea. Females only come to shore to lay their eggs. A  female will dig a hole in the sand just above the shoreline and lay 50-200 eggs, then cover the eggs with sand using her hind flippers. She leaves the nest and after 45-70 days, the sea turtles hatch and must make their way to the water. They are small and vulnerable to predators. Most females return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their eggs. All sea turtles, except the flatback (found only in Australia) are listed as threatened or endangered  and protected by the Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a sea turtle or its eggs. Sea turtles are also at risk due to habitat loss and pollution. Many of the beaches sea turtles lay  their nests on have become popular tourist attractions. This not only decreases nest space for sea turtles but also increases the number of threats to hatchlings. Depending on the species, sea turtles may eat vegetation, crabs, shrimp, squid, mollusks and  jellyfish. Discarded plastic bags in the ocean can often look like jellyfish. If a sea turtle eats a plastic bag, thinking it’s a jellyfish, its digestive tract can become clogged and it could starve and die. It’s always important to be mindful of what you take to the beach. Make sure you leave with  everything, especially plastic bags and bottles that you brought. If you see trash at the beach, pick it up and dispose of it properly. If you notice a sea turtle on shore laying eggs or find a nest, notify the local authorities (not emergency numbers.

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