OPINION

Me and Sea Turtles: A Love Story

The sea turtle has been roaming the earth for centuries. Find out why I love these gentle creatures of the sea so much!

The sea turtle has been roaming the earth for centuries. They have been around for over 110 million years. They were in the prehistoric dawn of era, when dinosaurs were still alive. Sea turtles are reptiles and they can be found in all oceans except the polar regions. Unlike a land turtle, they cannot retract their limbs and head into its shell. Its shell is also streamlined, making them the perfect swimmers.

Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Sea turtles come in an array of colors. Their main colors are black, greenish, and yellow. The color is determined by the species. In fact, there are over 7 species of sea turtle. 6 of these species are endangered. There are Green, Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Flat Back and Leatherback. It is hard to give an accurate number on the sea turtle population, as male and juvenile sea turtles do not come back to shore once they hatch and reach the ocean. This makes it very hard to keep track of them. The main reasons the population is decreasing in sea turtles are because of poaching, accidental catch, global warming, water pollution, and loss of nesting and feeding grounds.

Snacking on a Jellyfish
Snacking on a Jellyfish

 

Sea turtles can be found in warm and cool waters throughout the world. Not to mention that they migrate hundreds of miles for nesting or feeding. Most of them travel over 1,400 miles to reach a feeding ground or beach to make their nest. The process of gestation lasts for 6 to 10 weeks for a turtle. They only mate from March to October. They lay about 70 to 190 eggs. This also depends on the specie. The temperature of the sand also plays a part in determining the sex of the baby. If the temperature was below 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it most likely would be a male. If the temperature was above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, then it would be a female. After hatching, it can take up to a week for the baby turtles to dig themselves out of the nest. After they do dig themselves up, they go to the ocean. Many of them do not reach adulthood.

 

Baby Sea Turtle
Baby Sea Turtle

 

A sea turtle’s diet is mainly determined on its species. Furthermore, they all generally eat jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, snails, sponges, algae, and mollusks. Although these guys have a big appetite. They can also be on the menu. Sea turtles can become prey to tiger sharks and other organisms in the sea. Most of them take shelter at the bottom of the ocean. They have an excellent sense of smell and eyesight. They can hear vibrations. Sea turtles have a very long lifespan. They can potentially grow 70 to 80 years of age. Other creatures can also live a while but this is truly impressive. They survived the weather that wiped out the dinosaur race. In turtles today, they differed a lot Opposed to sea turtles in earlier times. They do not have teeth and their shell is more developed. These fascinating creatures are truly extraordinary.

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