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.