Sea Turtle Fact

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Sea Turtle Facts:
  • Turtles drink seawater and therefore take in large quantities of salt. The reptile kidney is unable to regulate salt balance. Special salt glands beside the tear duct in the eye excrete the excess salt in a very concentrated solution. This happens all the time but is most noticeable when they are on land. The salt liquid gives the appearance of ‘tears’.
  • Sea turtle breath air and must come to the surface for it. As they need to dive for food and protection they have developed the ability to hold their breath for long periods. At the surface they exhale in a noisy rush and need to ventilate fully to absorb maximum oxygen for the next dive. Loggerhead turtles dive to 233m and have been know to hold their breath for 21 minutes.
  • Green turtles have an amazing ability to store air which allows them to stay underwater for as long as five hour!
  • Scientist have recorded leatherback sea turtles diving 1000m, they are the world’s deepest diving reptile.
  • Olive ridley are famous for their regular nesting on Indian beaches in enormous groups called “arribadas”. Beginning around February or March, ten of thousands of turtles may nest on a single beach in just a few days.
  • Of the groups (Orders) of reptiles that have evolved during the last 310 million years, the turtle group (Testudines) is one of the only four that remain on the earth today.
  • Although they are slow moving on the land, sea turtles swim very quickly in water and take advantage of ocean current to assist their migration. Unlike their land-based cousins, sea turtle have streamlined shells and paddle like flipper that can propel them at speed of up to 50 Km per hour.
  • Like human, turtles have their favorite foods. Hawksbills mainly eat sponges, while Loggerheads prefer clams, crab and urchins. Leatherbacks like jellyfish, whereas Flatbacks eat squid, sea cucumber and mollusks. The Olive Ridley is the last fussy, consuming the widest range of food types. Green turtle are unique, feeding mainly on sea grass.
  • Sea turtles have colour vision, but they probably do not see very clearly while on land. Loggerhead and Green turtles can see all colours from red to blue.
  • All turtle eggs in a nest will hatch as either male or female depending on the heat of the sand. Warmer temperatures, generally above 29 degrees Celsius, result in female hatchlings while cooler temperatures result in more males.
  • Is estimated that only one or two in 1000 turtle hatchlings survive to become reproducing adults.
  • Leatherback turtle can mistake plastic bags an rubbish in the ocean for jellyfish. The plastic gets caught in their mouth or gut and suffocates them. Always dispose of your rubbish carefully, especially at sea and on the beach.
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