The sea turtle is unlike any other animal on the planet. Even common turtles found in a pond, like painters, snappers, and box turtles, are very different from the mighty sea turtle. The sea turtle is composed of seven different species. Each kind has traits which set it apart from the others.
We are going to give you ten facts about sea turtles. We will also explain some of the ways you can help the sea turtles, as they fight crowded beaches and polluted water.
Charming Shark stands up for the dangers facing these peaceful creatures. We support the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, and make a donation to their organization with every purchase by people like you.
Let’s get into ten curious facts about the sea turtle.
Fact 1 - Sea Turtles can Travel up to 10,000 Miles Each Year
That’s a lot of miles. Some types of sea turtles travel more than others. The Leatherback sea turtle can travel up to 10,000 miles, and the Loggerhead will travel around 8,000 miles. Loggerheads born in Japan will travel across the Pacific to grow on the shores of Mexico. Then, when old enough, they will swim all the way back to lay their eggs.
If that doesn’t inspire you to road trip, I guess nothing will.
Among the most prolific migrators, one sea turtle named Yoshi traveled over 22,000 miles in two year. They tracked her progress by fitting her with a tracker.
Fact 2 - Green Sea Turtles Are What they Eat
It is thought that the green sea turtle gets its color from a herbivorous diet. Funny, when mother used to say we’ll turn orange if we eat too many carrots – she was right. Unlike most sea turtle that eat jelly fish, crabs and mussels, the green sea turtle eats plants.
This diet causes their fat to tinge green.
Fact 3 - Sea Turtles Lay Lots of Egg
When a mature female sea turtle is ready, she will migrate back to the place of her birth and lay over one hundred eggs at a time. The egg shells are soft and rubbery. After the mother lays her eggs, she will cover the nest – or clutch – with sand. The sand will protect the eggs from predators, and will help maintain moisture and temperature.
And, as we’ll see, temperature is important.
Fact 4 – Gender is Determined by the Temperature of the Nest
Warmer temperatures will produce more female hatchlings, while colder temperatures are likely to produce males. This has become an issue of contention. As the weather continues to warm, there are less and less male turtles. Obviously, this causes a direct decline in the population of sea turtles.
Fact 5 - Sea Turtles Come onto the Beach at Night to Lay Eggs
Almost all sea turtles will come ashore to lay eggs during the night. The ones that don’t mind coming ashore during the day are smaller, like the Kemp’s Ridleys sea turtle. This turtle is smaller and much lighter in color.
Otherwise, sea turtles prefer to sneak onto the beach at high tide under the cover of darkness.
Fact 6 - Sea Turtles Will Lay Eggs in a Mass Called an Arribada
Arribada is Spanish for “arrival by sea”. When this happens, a group of females will swarm a beach and lay thousands, even millions of eggs. It is thought that this mass laying will increase the odds of survival for the young after they hatch.
Costa Rica is known for their Ridley turtle arribadas. In these events, you will see thousands of sea turtles on the beach laying their eggs.
The craziest part about these events is that we still aren’t sure what causes them – how do the turtles know that it’s time to get together for the yearly reunion? Sea turtles are fascinating creatures in more ways than one.
Fact 7 - Sea Turtles are Threatened
There are many types of sea turtles on the threatened and endangered species list. The sea turtle faces many threats. Since they get old, they don’t begin to reproduce until around 13 years of age. This is a long time for something to go wrong before a turtle is able to bring more young turtles into the ocean.
Several common threats include increased buildings and lighting on beaches. Whenever you have more lights and unnatural structures, this can confuse the young turtles as they hatch and try to make it to the ocean.
Also, large fishing nets don’t just trap fish. Sea turtles need to be able to surface to breath. When they are held under water by nets, they can drown.
Fact 8 - Sea Turtles Knew the Dinosaurs
The sea turtle is an ancient creature living in modern times. These guys have been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. If we ever learn how to talk with sea turtles, maybe they can tell us about tales of old. However, just being able to witness the majesty of the sea turtle gives us appreciation for all the animals that lived long ago.
Fact 9 - Sea Turtles Don’t Retract into Their Shells
Unlike turtles you might find in a pond or river, sea turtles do not tuck themselves inside their shells. However, there shell is still there to protect them. The sea turtles shells are more streamlined for effective swimming. This allows them to travel so many miles, and navigate the ocean with grace.
Fact 10 - Sea Turtles are Large
The largest sea turtles are leatherbacks. The biggest one ever recorded was ten feet long and weighed over two thousand pounds! That’s a little bigger than a painter turtle. The size of these turtles reminds us - there are modern dinosaurs living in our oceans.
Fact 11 (Bonus) - Sea Turtles Symbolize Endurance and Peace
The sea turtle has been inspiring people for thousands of years. The sea turtle means different things to different people. Some people view the turtle as a symbol of endurance, because it fights so hard to survive and lives a long life.
The turtle is a symbol of peace. The sea turtle tries to keep life simple. They focus on survival and swim through the ocean with power and grace.
When you buy bracelets and necklaces from Charming Shark, a portion goes to support the Loggerhead Marine Life organization – you’re helping sea turtles when you buy from Charming Shark.
This sea turtle bracelet makes a great gift and reminder of our peaceful friends in the sea.
Written By: Gideon Zielinski