Species of Sea Turtles!
There are seven species of Sea Turtle:
Kemp's Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys Kempil)
- These are one of the smallest of the sea turtles, weighing only 100lbs (45KG). They eat swimming crabs, jelly fish and a variety of molluscs.
- Every year, at the same time and same place, thousands of Kemps Ridley sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on the beach. This is known as an arribada.
- They are the most severely endangered marine turtle in the world - although they are showing signs of recovery!
- Generally a smaller species of turtle, but they can get up to 200lbs (91kg)
- They predominantly feed on sponges, so the adults are often found living among healthy coral reef communities
- The strongly hooked beak on the narrow head gives them their distinctive look and name. They use this for eating sponges
- The largest species of sea turtle - growing up to 6.5 ft (2m)!!
- They differ from other marine turtles in that they have a thick leathery carapace instead of a hard bony shell, and also they can survive in colder water
- Their jaws are too weak to eat hard bodied prey, so they mostly eat jellyfish and salps
- The females have a characteristic pink spot on their heads
- Their names come from their large heads and strong jaws, this allows them to eat prey with hard shells, like big marine snails.
- It has the widest spread distribution of all the sea turtles
- Similar to Kemp's Ridley turtles, they take part in massive nestings that can involved 150,000 individual turtles at one time
- They can dive down 150m searching for prey
- They have a very limited distribution
- They are characterised by their very flat carapace
- Flatback turtle eggs incubated below 29 degree celcius will be male, whereas eggs incubated above that will be female
- They mostly feed on plants like seagrass and algae. The pigment from their green diet colours their fat green - which is where the name comes from.
- Populations in nesting green turtle are estimated to have dropped by 48% - 65% in the past 100 - 150 years.
- Recent studies do suggest that marine protected area are benefitting the turtles