All About Sea Turtles

Photo by Kris Mikael Krister on Unsplash

There are seven traditional types of sea turtles, and I will be talking about their diets and qualities. Six out of the seven, which are Hawksbill, Green, Flatback, Loggerhead, Kemp's Ridley, and Olive Ridley turtles are in the family Cheloniidae. The seventh one, the Leatherback is in the family Dermochelyidae and looks very different than the others. All of the species though are listed under endangered species act. I will start with the Leatherback since it is in its own family.

The Leatherback turtle's scientific name is Dermochelys Coriacea, and it is the most abundant type of sea turtle. It can grow up to six feet and 2,000 pounds. They can dive up to 3,000 feet down, and their diet consists of jellyfish, salps, crustaceans, squid, and urchins.

The next type of sea turtle is the green sea turtle. Their scientific name is Chelonia Mydas. Its carapace up to 3 feet long, and it can weigh 250 pounds. When these turtles are young, they are carnivores, but when they are adults, they are herbivores and eat seaweeds and seagrass. This gives the turtle a green tinge on their underbelly.

The next sea turtle is the loggerhead sea turtle. Its scientific name is Caretta Caretta.

These turtles can be 3.5 feet long and weigh up to 400 pounds. They eat crabs, mollusks, and jellyfish. They are called Loggerheads because of their large head.

The Hawksbill turtle's scientific name is Eretmochelys Imbricate. They can grow to lengths of 3.5 feet and weigh 180 pounds. Their beaks are useful for eating sponges, which is their primary food source.

The next turtle is the Kemp's Ridley turtle. Its scientific name is Lepidochelys Kempii, and it is the smallest sea turtle at 30 inches and 100 pounds. These turtles like to eat crabs and were named after Richard Kemp, who first discovered them.

The next type of turtle is the Olive Ridley turtle. Its scientific name is Lepidochelys Olivacea. Like the previous turtle, they are small and weigh less than 100 pounds. They are named for their olive shell and eat crabs, shrimp, jellyfish, and sometimes algae.

The last turtle is the Flatback turtle. Its scientific name is Natator Depressus. They are the only sea turtle species not found in the United States. They are about three feet in length and weigh around 200 pounds. They eat sea cucumbers and mollusks.

Which turtle is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!


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