Turtles are some of the charismatic reptiles and make the beauty of the sea waters. These magnificent creatures have tons of fascinating facts that make them great animals to keep and worthy protecting the few species left.
One of the key reasons to protect turtles is because most of them are likely to die at a young age. The truth is that around 1% of these reptiles make it to sexual adult. Everything about turtles is just amazing, from the physical abilities, the anatomy to their great age.
Typically, turtles have shells (carapace) that serve as shield and housing when predators attack them. The only reservation is the leatherback sea turtle whose body is leather-like. So, what are the greatest and fun quirks about these animals with capitalized personalities?
Turtles can live for over 200 years
These cold-blooded animals are among the wild animals that live longer. Turtles have an incredibly long life span; however, most of them do not reach sexual maturity due to their slow growth rate. This makes them worthy of strict protection.
On average, turtles reach reproductive maturity at the age of 30 years and continue to grow older. Generally, they can live for about 200 years. However, it is possible to have some turtles aged more than 400 years due to the challenge of determining their age.
Before we keep going, I would really like to thanks the guys at Bricklayer Newcastle to make this blog possible. Without our local community, I wouldn’t have the resources to help spread information about these amazing sea creatures.
Turtles shed their scutes
Everyone is pretty aware that the turtle carapaces are part of their body. This means you cannot separate them from the back of the turtle. If a turtle’s shell is injured, it is equally threatening like a wound on the human body.
In a similar way that a snake huts its dermis, turtles shed the scutes as they grow larger and old. The peeled scutes are replaced by new growth. Scutes are handy in determining the age of turtles at their age.
Turtle’s gender is determined by temperature
Unlike other species whose sex is determined immediately after fertilization, turtles are a unique case. How the gender of turtles is assigned makes them great animals. The heat to which the eggs are subjected to as they develop decides the hatching gender.
Typically, with low temperatures, the eggs will hatch to males, while with extremely higher temperatures, the hatcheries will be female. The specific incubating temperatures are below 81.86°F and above 87.8°F for eggs to hatch males and females. If the incubating temperature is between the two values, the eggs can hatch to either gender.
Since most turtles are found in the tropical and subtropical regions, this accounts for why the female species dominate. The warmer sand along beaches is a major contributing factor.
Baby turtles can swim for four days after they are born
Apart from the strong carapace, turtles have stronger muscles to swim. Indeed, they can swim faster than a human with an average speed of 22 miles per hour.
It has been proven that turtles are swimming enthusiasts from their young age. The hatchlings can swim for up to 4 days straight until they find some food or somewhere to rest. Mostly, all species are hardwired to swim faster and for long distances.
Turtles have good eyes and a sense of direction
Turtles can see even when in deep waters, and at times they swim through the coral reef crevices to find food. They can easily identify any bright color that resembles anything edible.
Did you know that turtle can swim back to the beach on which they were born? Apart from the good sight, they are highly sensitive to the magnetic field of the earth. This adaptation serves as a map, making it possible for the turtle to swim back to mother beach. They are believed to strongly detect direction better than the compass.
Turtles are such great animals of their kind. Show love to them by championing adherence to act protecting turtles.
Sea-turtles, commonly known as marine turtles, are sea creatures that belong to class chelonioidea. These sea-living reptiles exist in seven different species in which each of them exhibits unique characteristics. Some of the common species of marine turtles include leatherback, hawksbill, kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, among others.
Seas and oceans are the everyday living habitat for most sea-turtle species, which means these creatures consume most of their lifetime in the water. They usually carry out nesting in tropical and subtropical beaches where waters are shallow. Marine turtles move for long distances in search of food, crossing the entire seas or oceans.
For instance, loggerheads can nest in Japan and then move to Mexico for foraging before returning. The species spread over the continental seas depending on the climatic conditions of the area, and of they favor them. For example, leatherbacks tolerate icy water temperatures, which is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
That is why, in most instances, they are mostly in North Alaska and Chile. Marine turtles spend all their lives in water unless when female adults move to shores for egg-laying. These female adults lay eggs several times in a season, which is between two to five years.
The laid eggs take about sixty days to hatch from the sandy nests. After hatching, the juvenile turtles find their way to the ocean as they are enthusiastic about the distant horizon. For the first few years, these baby turtles live on open seas and oceans. After they have grown to adults, they move to estuaries, nearshore waters, and protected inlets.
Since these sea-reptiles exist in different species, their diet also differs from one type to the other. Therefore each species has a different food that it feeds on. Some of these reptiles are omnivores and thus feed on animals and plants while others depend on sponges.
Types of marine turtles and their diet
Adult loggerheads are carnivores and feed on sea animals with heavy shells. They eat conchs, crabs, whelks, and clams. Unlike adult loggerheads, the young sea-turtles are omnivores feeding on plants and animals. The species have gigantic heads with muscular mandibles for crushing hard shells of their prey.
Leatherback’s diet consists of only invertebrates with soft bodies and jellies such as sea squirts and tunicates. The creatures’ jaws have two sharply pointed cusps to feed on gelatin and other soft-bodied prey.
These are omnivores and can feed on a wide range of plants and animals. Their diet includes urchin, algae, shrimp, fish, lobster, and crabs.
Like Olive ridley, flatbacks are omnivores and eat jellies, shrimp, fish, mollusks, soft corals, seaweeds, and cucumbers.
Hawksbills exclusively feed on sponges; they have narrow and sharp beaks that resemble that of a bird. The beak enables them to get into crevices of coral reefs.
They are herbivores and mostly feed on algae, seaweed, and seagrasses. Their teeth have fine serrates to allow them to tear seaweeds and grasses and remove algae for sea rocks.
Sea turtles spend their entire life in and depend on terrestrial creatures and plants as their food. They rarely come to the beach shores unless they are female sea-turtles since they lay eggs on shores. After those eggs hatching, the hatchlings will spend part of their life on the beaches but later join the others once they are adults.