Protecting Sea Turtles and Marine Life Preservation - Ocean Animals

Sea Turtles and Dinosaurs

They roam the warm and temperate waters of the world for the nearly 8 -10 decades of their nomadic existence. As ancient creatures of the sea, their ancestry takes them back 150 million years ago, to the later Jurassic time period, where sea turtles watched the evolution and extinction of the dinosaur.  

Turtles, tend to encompass a large group of marine reptiles, including tortoises, box turtles, pond turtles, musk turtles, river turtles, and sea turtles. according to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club "A tortoise is a land dwelling turtle with high domed shell and columnar, elephant-shaped hind legs. Tortoises go to water only to drink or bathe.”

What Do You Think is the Correct Answer?

Green Sea Turtle
Green Sea Turtle
Green and Black Sea Turtles show no significant genetic differences
Green and Black Sea Turtles show no significant genetic differences
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
olive Ridley Sea Turtle
olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Flatback sea turtle
Flatback sea turtle

Different Types of Sea Turtles

Sea turtles spend nearly all their life migrating thousands of miles across harbors, bays, and sometimes oceans. Females will go on land to lay their eggs. Across the globe, there are 7 species of sea turtles. Some say there are 8 species, because they count the black sea turtle. But this debated, because some scientists believe the black and green sea turtles are the same species.

  • green turtle (100% nest in Florida)
  • loggerhead
  • leatherback
  • hawksbill
  • olive ridley
  • kemp’s ridley
  • flatback (only in Northern Australia)



Hard scales, called scutes cover all the turtles except for the leatherback turtle. The species is determined by the arrangement and number of these scutes. Sea turtles come in various colors, shapes and sizes. The olive ridley weighs less than 100 pounds. The leatherback can weigh from 650 pounds to 1,300 pounds. The upper shell also comes in different shapes, colors and scale arrangements.


The United States Fish and Wildlife Services lists the 6 types of turtles that are part of U.S. waters as endangered or threatened. In the U.S., it is illegal to cause any harm or interfere with a sea turtle of the eggs of sea turtles. 6 species of turtles exist in Australian waters, and all 6 are protected under several state and territory laws and Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Any animal that is listed on the endangered list is threatened with extinction.
Any animal that is listed as vulnerable means they may become endangered by the continuing threats.

Watch a Sea Turtle Swimming

All Species of Sea Turtles are Endangered

Hard scales, called scutes cover all the turtles except for the leatherback turtle. The species is determined by the arrangement and number of these scutes. Sea turtles come in various colors, shapes and sizes. The olive ridley weighs less than 100 pounds. The leatherback can weigh from 650 pounds to 1,300 pounds. The upper shell also comes in different shapes, colors and scale arrangements.


The United States Fish and Wildlife Services lists the 6 types of turtles that are part of U.S. waters as endangered or threatened. In the U.S., it is illegal to cause any harm or interfere with a sea turtle of the eggs of sea turtles. 6 species of turtles exist in Australian waters, and all 6 are protected under several state and territory laws and Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Any animal that is listed on the endangered list is threatened with extinction.
Any animal that is listed as vulnerable means they may become endangered by the continuing threats.

Watch this Turtle On the Beach

Interesting Facts About Sea Turtles

Sea turtles spend practically all of their lives in water.

  • When the females are going to lay their eggs, they will go on land to a sandy beach

  • The female always returns to the beach they were born on to lay their eggs.

  • Turtles migrate great distances from where they feed to where they nest.

  • Their upper shell is called a carapace. Their lower shell is called a plastron.

  • They have 4 flippers that act as paddles for locomotion through the water.

  • Turtles are reptiles

  • Turtles have lungs to breathe air

  • Their beaks are used to crush or cut their food

  • They swim at great depths and travel long distances.

  • Sea turtles don’t have teeth, tthey use their jaws or beaks.

  • They don’t have ears that you can see, but they have eardrums that is covered by skin.

  • Turtles have an excellent sense of smell,and can hear low frequencies best.

  • They have good vision underwater, but out of water, they are nearsighted.

Sea Turtles are Part of Two Ecosystems

Sea turtles have long lives, but they are prone to predators, disease and hunted for their meat as a delicacy, for soup, and as leather, and selected turtles for their decorative shells. The shells are used as combs, frames for eyeglasses, as an aphrodisiac and as collectible objects. Some people believe the turtle eggs are an aphrodisiac.

It is illegal in many countries to poach turtles. They have become endangereed in large part due to this, and from pollution, and destruction of their habitats and beaches where they lay their eggs. Turtle habitats like coral reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and beaches where they nest have seriously threatened the survival of these ancient water dwellers. Sometimes turtles get caught in fishing gear and drown, or their eggs and hatchlings have been disturbed and harvested by people. foxes, wild pigs, and other predators. Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles have very few large nesting places anymore. Hurricanes and changing coastal erosion can have an effect on the nesting success of sea turtles. Even noise, light and other disturbances to the beaches where the females lay their eggs can adversely affect the reproductive success of these marine animals. It was recently discovered that artificial lighting on a highway near a beach created nocturnal confusion for the nesting turtles. The turtles only nest at night, but the lighting confused them and they returned to the ocean without ever laying their eggs. New hatchlings confused by the city street lights crawled the opposite direction of the water and headed towards parking lots and in streets. Sea turtles are part of the coast and marine ecosystems, making them an important part of our ecology. If sea turtles become extinct, both ecosystems they are part of would be negatively impacted. This would adversely affect the natural marine resource people use for foods, and the coastal system we use for different activities.

Have you ever seen a sea turtle up close?

  • yes in their natural habitat
  • yes in an aquarium or a zoo
  • never, but I would like too
  • no, I have never met a sea turtle
See results without voting

Disney Featured Crush the Sea Turtle in "Finding Nemo"

Did You Know?

Much of the information that has been gathered about turtles, has been done so by tagging thousands of turtle who migrated to the beaches and by satellite. One loggerhead turtle that was tracked in 1996 swam from Mexico to Japan, 9,000 miles across the entire Pacific Ocean. It is believed turtles use the earth’s magnetic field as a kind of GPS directional system.

Some interesting facts about sea turtles:

  • Green sea turtles can sustain themselves underwater for up to 5 hours. This occurs because their heart rate slows down to conserve oxygen.

  • They can have a span of as much as 9 minutes between heartbeats.

  • A sea turtle can’t withdraw its limbs, head or neck like the land turtles. Retractable limbs would hinder their ability to swim as quick as they do.

  • The green sea turtle got its name because of the color of its body fat.

  • The green sea turtle eats algae and seagrasses.

  • Baby green sea turtles are omnivores, and adults are herbivores.

  • Loggerhead turtles and Ridley turtles eat crabs, mollusks, shrimp and can crush them with their strong beaks.

  • Leatherback turtles eat jellyfish and other sea animals with soft bodies.

  • Females lay eggs only at night.

  • Sand temperatures determine the sex of the turtle.

  • There is no way to tell how old a sea turtle is, by its physical appearance.




Females Return to the Same Beach They Were Born on to Lay Their Eggs

When the female sea turtles are sexually mature, the return to the same beach where they and their prior generations hatched. Using her flippers, the female digs a pit in the sand and lays between 60-130 eggs, depending on the species. Green sea turtles only lay their eggs, at night only, to avoid the heat of the sun. The back flippers help the females excavate the eggs from the egg chamber. They will do this several times until they are satisfied with the nesting conditions. Then they will lay as much as 7 clutches of eggs at once. The eggs are soft so they don't break when they land on top of each other. The eggs are about the size of ping pong balls. They cover the pit with sand and return to the water.  Sea turtles do not parent their young. In fact, they never even see their hatchlings. It takes anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 ½ months, depending on the species, for the eggs to hatch. Sand temperatures determine the sex of the turtle. Cooler temperatures produce more males. Warmer sand temperatures create more females to be born. A drop sand temperatures clue the eggs to hatch mostly in unison.The hatchlings dig out of the pit and climb above the sand to crawl towards the seashore.Once in the water, they swim for several hours and are carried out to deeper waters by the ocean current. Depending on the sea turtle, in 11-40 years, when they have reached sexual maturity, these female hatchinglings will return to this same beach and lay their eggs on these same sandy shores, as their ancestors have done for over 100 million years. That is some tradition!

Nesting Seasons Vary Around the World

Nesting time of the year varies for sea turtles around the world. The United States nesting season goes from April to October. The majority of females will nest at least twice during every mating season. Some can even nest up to 10 times in a season. A female seaturtle won’t will not nest in consecutive years. Usually they skip 1 or 2 years before they nest again.

In the first year after being born, baby turtles are hardly seen. Scientists refer this to the lost years. It is speculated that they live among large areas of sargasso weeds, mostly eating and growing. They are seen again, near coastal shores, when they are about the size of a dinner plate. Turtles spend most of their juvenile and adult life in coastal feeding regions, and will travel thousands of miles to migrate towards the nesting area . Seaturtles mate offshore with several different males. The females store the sperm and fertilize the eggs they lay during the nesting season. Once the females begin to nest, the males return to the feeding region. The females go back to the feeding area when the nesting season is over. It may be several years before they breed again, depending on food availability.

Worth Watching! Female Sea Turtles Come Ashore to Lay Eggs and Hatchlings Go Towards Ocean

Sea turtles are fascinating animals. The endangerment to the species is of particular concern. Many of the conservation efforts have not increased their population yet. Should life on earth still exist in 150 million years from now, will sea turtles be part of the planet? There are things we can all do to help out.

  • We can reduce the amount of plastic garbage we use.
  • Stop the release balloons
  • Don’t throw garbage and plastic in the water. Turtles try to eat this.
  • Eliminate beach lighting. It creates disorientation for the sea turtles.
  • Lessen the use of fertilizers and other chemicals. .
  • Recycling fishing line and other items.
  • Be a cautious and conscientious boater. Sea turtles suffer fatalities with boat interactions.



We can all do our part to help preserve and protect the sea turtles whose ancient ancestry can be traced back to the era of dinosaurs and prehistoric times. It is up to us to help ensure that sea turtles will continue to swim the open waters of our planet Earth.

Comments 37 comments

rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

Excellent hub on sea turtles, what an amazing creature. Love the photos and videos, you can tell a lot of research and preparation went into putting this extremely informative hub together, great job! Voted up and awesome.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Lovely hub, my friend. One of my passions. I have always thought these are the most beautiful animals, and yet I didn't know several of the facts you highlighted. Thank you.

Voted UP and USEFUL.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

They have a type of Sea Turtle in the Gulf of Mexico,nearby, that have a lively group of protectors in Texas that guard their nesting area,I bet it's the same one that is overfished in Mexico for that delicacy,thanks for sharing this important report toknowinfo.;)


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi RP, From a guy who looks like he enjoys the open seas, I am highly complimented by your kind words. Thank you for the up rating.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Twilight, It makes me feel good to know I taught you some new things about a passion of yours. Thank you very much for the up rating.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Mentalist, I found it very interesting that the nesting area is guarded. Thanks for sharing that info.


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

Wow a great hub on sea turtles and I truly enjoyed it. Sea turtles are fascinating creatures and they are really neat up close and personal. I live in Florida and every year or so sea turtles come on to our beaches and lay their eggs. People have respect for them and they fence off the area and watch over their eggs. Great hub voted up and awesome.

Sweet wishes Rhonda


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Rhonda, How fortunate you are to see these magnificent sea turtles up close. I saw them once when I was snorkeling, but they were sleeping. Once on a boat there was a friendly green sea turtle who greeted us coming and going in the harbor. And of course I have seen them in the zoos. But I have never seen them on the beach. It sounds so exciting.


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

What a remarkable hub on sea turtles. I never knew the little creatures were so fascinating. I only have one regret...I read your hub to my grandson. Now I have to go to the aquarium. arrrgh!! Thanks Toknow.:)

voted up/useful and awesome


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Fay, I apologize for making you spend the day with your grandson at the aquarium, but somehow I think you will forgive me. Thanks very much for your kind comments and especially for the up rating.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wonderful hub about these fascinating sea turtles including the photos and videos. I liked your advice about helping to ensure their safety long into the future. We should definitely help to preserve and protect our fellow creatures with whom we share this small planet. Up and useful votes from me!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

You have written a fascinating hub toknowinfo....I enjoyed the videos you posted, the facts you posted....especially the 11 interesting facts.....great hub...voted up and useful


schoolmarm profile image

schoolmarm 5 years ago from Florida

Thanks for sharing the wonderful information and photos. I live in South Florida, so I am quite fortunate to be able to swim with the turtles off our coast. The large ones can be quite intimidating the first time they swim up close to you, but they are very gentle giants! We are very protective of our turtles down here!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Peggy, Thanks for stopping by. We all need to realize that preserving sea turtles is important to our own preservation. In addition, turtles are a precious part of our earth. They have survived since the time of dinosaurs and man should not be the cause of their extinction. I appreciate your kind comments and up ratings.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Thanks Cog for all your wonderful comments, and the up ratings. I am glad you enjoyed the videos. They are worth watching.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi SM, Thanks for sharing your experiences of swimming with the turtles. It sounds really awesome. Glad you stopped by.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I enjoyed the read and the vids very much. Thanks for all the work you put into this great Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

love this hub, I have always been fascinated with sea turtles and I really enjoyed the videos.

God Bless


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Tony, Glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Vet, I find sea turtles fascinating too. Especially the idea that they have been around since the time of dinosaurs. I am glad you enjoyed the videos and appreciate you stopping by.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

fantastic hub. I love sea turtles. This is one of my peeves, I hate the fact people throw plastic in the ocean and the turtles eat it and die. I have been collecting turtles(not real ones) for years

Voted up


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi GH, Collecting not real turtles sounds like a nice hobby. Maybe you will share pictures of your collection on hubpages someday. Glad yo enjoyed my hub and I appreciate the up votes. Thanks so much.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

toknow, I have a very large sea turtle in my bathroom. It is so funny to see the younger kids come running out of the bathroom when they see it.

They think it is real. LOL


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

My kids had the same experience with a not real frog once. Thanks for the chuckle.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I have a student trying to conduct research on sea turtles at the moment, will have to give her the link to this hub!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Cindy,

I am so pleased that my article can be helpful to her. Thank you very much.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

toknowinfo, I've always thought that sea turtles are beautiful, graceful creatures. When they are swimming they are poetry in motion. Wonderful, informative hub. I am amazed they can have a nine minute period of time between heartbeats and still live. Rated up and awesome.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi KKG, I am glad you enjoyed this article. I try to fill it with interesting info. I have to thank the turtles for being so interesting to write about.


jojokaya profile image

jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

Great hub.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi JojO, Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed the article.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Some of my favorite critters! Voted up and awesome! :)


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

Hi Suzanne, I am glad you enjoyed this hub. Turtles are very fascinating. Thanks for the kind up votes. I appreciate it very much.


Ghaelach 4 years ago

Morning toknowinfo.

I said I would pop over and I'm glad I did.

WOW this is some hub. Your research is very intensive and you've put a lot of hours into it.

We at hubpages have the chance every so often to bring to the attension of our visitors not only the wonderful photo's but also the disturbing fact that we the human race could do a little more in protecting these and many other endangered species.

Now to find the second part of your hub on sea turtles.

Take care.

LOL Ghaelach


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Ghaelach,

Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you like this hub. The sea turtles deserve to be protected and I hope we can do our part to create awareness to preserve them.


actionbronson profile image

actionbronson 3 years ago

Great hub! Very well written! I think sea turtles are some of the most sustainable creatures on our planet and we need to do everything we can to help protect them.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 3 years ago Author

Hi Action, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Turtles are very fascinating animals and you are right, they need to be protected. I am glad you enjoyed this hub and I appreciate your kind comments.


conradofontanilla profile image

conradofontanilla 3 years ago from Philippines

In the Philippines we have marine turtle sanctuaries and hatcheries where you can study them in captivity. This is the result of Task Force Pawikan that I helped to establish in the 1980s. Turtle conservation in this country has taken a sound foothold. I have a Hub "Love of swimming, wildlife and confidence on a piece of bamboo lead to turtle conservation."

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