13 Things You May Not Know About Marine Turtles
By Gap 360
Last updated: 22nd May 2015
Here at Gap 360, we’re all so interested in learning more about wildlife. To mark ‘World Turtle Day’ we thought we’d share with you our favourite thirteen facts about turtles – check out fact 2!
- Sea turtles have roamed the planet for around 100 million years surviving the Ice Age
- Turtles migrate 100s of miles (if not thousands) from their feeding ground to nest – with modest vision, strong currents and no visible landmarks. These turtles manage to swim from areas like Australia to South Africa to nest. Remarkable navigation!
- Females imprint on the beach that they were born on and most return to the same spot to nest.
- Females can lay between 2 and 6 clutches of eggs containing anything from around 65 eggs to 180 depending on the species.
- The temperature of the nest decides on the sex on the hatchling. Warmer nests (normally over 28 degrees) produce female turtles. Cooler nests produce male hatchlings. Climate change could have dramatic effects on turtles decreasing the amount of males born.
- Around 1 in 1000 turtles survive into adulthood – Hatchlings have to dodge predators such as birds, large fish, sharks and ghost crabs before reaching adult hood.
- Some sea turtles can live over 50 years, some even reaching 100!
- Hatchings can sleep on the surface of the water. They use their front flippers as supports for the top of their back and chill out on the surface! Cute!
- Sea turtles love to dine on Jelly Fish! Plastic bags can easily be mistaken as jelly fish and can be a major threat. Sea pollution must be reduced to help conserve the turtles. They also love to feed on squid, barnacles, sponges and sea anemones.
- Green turtles are the only herbivores as adults and eat sea weed and sea algae
- Leatherbacks are also the largest sea turtle species and can weigh up to 1,500 pounds. The largest ever recorded turtle was almost 10 feet in length and weighed in at 2,019 pounds!
- The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is the most endangered out of all the species and is also the smallest.
- Hawksbill sea turtles are recognised for their beautiful shells and have been hunted for centuries to create jewellery and other items.
We have plenty of options for getting involved with helping turtles. Check out our Turtle Conservation trips!