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Murphy the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Updated on October 7, 2014

Murphy's Release

Murphy the Loggerhead Turtle Released into the Ocean

Since his rescue in 2002, Murphy the Loggerhead Turtle who was stranded as a hatch-ling, has been lovingly cared for - first at the Jekyll Island 4H Center, then at the Georgia Aquarium. He was held until he was big enough to be safely sent to his natural habitat. He was finally released to the ocean on August 31, 2011 in Jekyll Island, Ga. The Ocean is a place he has never known but always yearned for.

Perhaps though, he did not realize it was what he longed for? If you watch the video of his release (see below) you can tell he is a little apprehensive about the whole thing. It's really kinda cute. His handlers keep trying to point him to the water and he keeps trying to go in a different direction.

Poor guy. You know he's been spoiled for so long in captivity! Maybe he's just not sure what's out there!

Loggerhead Turtle Escaping net
Loggerhead Turtle Escaping net

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Cool Stuff to Know

Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Southeastern U.S. have an average weight of 250 lbs (113 kg) and are about 3 feet long.

Adults are reddish-brown, with a slightly heart-shaped top shell and a pale yellowish bottom shell.

We don't know how long they live, but they reproduce until they are around 35 years old.

Loggerheads were named for their large heads, which help them feed on hard-shelled prey, such as whelks and conch. In the southeastern U.S., mating occurs in late March to early June and females lay eggs between late April and early September. Females lay three to five nests, and sometimes more, during a single nesting season. The eggs incubate approximately two months before hatching sometime between late June and mid-November.

Immediately after hatchlings emerge from the nest, they begin a period of frenzied activity. At this time the hatchlings move from their nest to the surf, are swept out to the ocean, where they will continue swimming away from land for up to several days.

After their initial swim, they generally take up residence in areas which consist of accumulations of floating material, such as seaweed.

Somewhere between 7-12 years old, oceanic juveniles migrate to nearshore coastal areas and continue maturing until adulthood.


Photo: Loggerhead Turtle escaping a net equipped with turtle excluder device (TED) via NOAA

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

The Turtle who Flies

Her flippers,

like wings,

were made to travel

Murphy's Release

Murphy is Released into the Ocean
Murphy is Released into the Ocean

Jeff Corwin of ABC's new series "Ocean Mysteries" and Heather Dziedzic, a senior aquarist as the Georgia Aquarium, release Murphy into the ocean.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Did you know

Pacific loggerheads migrate over

7,500 miles (12,000 km) between

nesting beaches in Japan

and feeding grounds off the

coast of Mexico!


Letting go - Nesting baby Loggerheads get special attention at Bald Head Island

Baby Loggerhead
Baby Loggerhead

Click on the picture to see the latest from their blog

Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Beautiful film from the Save Our Seas Foundation

A Story of One Brave Loggerhead - Turtle: The Incredible Journey

I watched this beautiful film with my son, and am so thankful to be able to take the opportunity of educating him on the plight of the Loggerhead in such a meaningful way. It follows the miraculous journey of a loggerhead from her birth on a sandy Florida beach to her 10,000 kilometer trip around the Atlantic. She meets both friend and foe, some natural, others, tragically, man-made. It is sad at times, but not always so, leaving room for hope, as she shows us through her eyes the struggle and joy of what it must be like to live in her mysterious and breathtakingly beautiful ocean world.

The Fate of the Loggerhead is in our hands

Once plentiful, the loggerheads

today are in decline,

facing serious threats from

human activity,

such as miles of maiming hooks

courtesy of bottom longline fisheries.


The Loggerhead Turtle - Beautifully Photographed

Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle Conservance
Sea Turtle Conservance

Want to help the Loggerhead Sea Turtles?

Here's How!

Visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy

Like them on Facebook

Read about the research of Sally Murphy on the Marine Turtle Conservancey Program sponsored by the South Carolina Dept of Natural Resources.

Get your free bumper sticker

Last but not least, you can help get the word out by "Squid-Liking" this lens (see below) and tweeting about it!

Beautiful Video from Georgia Outdoors - Loggerheads: The Epic Journey

Epic Journey: The Loggerhead
Epic Journey: The Loggerhead

Follows Nesting Loggerheads and their Hatchlings

Click the picture to watch at Georgia Outdoors.

If you live near or visit their Nesting Areas - Here are more ways to help

What you can do to help sea turtles in Nesting Areas:

(from SCDNR Marine Turtle Conservation Program)

  1. Do not shine lights on a sea turtle or take flash photography
  2. Turn out all interior and exterior lights (flood and deck) visible from the beach, dusk to dawn, from May through Oct.
  3. Close blinds and drapes on windows that can be seen from the beach or ocean
  4. No flashlights, fireworks or bonfires on the beach
  5. Encourage your local and county administrations to enforce their lighting ordinances.
  6. Do not disturb a nesting sea turtle and observe her only from a distance.
  7. When boating, lookout for sea turtles both inshore and offshore. Sea turtle mortality from boat interaction is on the rise.
  8. Fill in large holes dug on the beach at the end of the day because adult and hatchlings sea turtles can become trapped in them.
  9. Remove tents, chairs, and other items from the beach and dunes at the end of the day that could obstruct a sea turtle when nesting
  10. Adopt-a-Nest (

Turtle Tracks in the Sand

Turtle Tracks in the Sand
Turtle Tracks in the Sand

What do you think of the Loggerhead Turtle - Or on Murphy the newly released Loggerhead Sea Turtle?

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    • profile image

      Raimer Gel 3 years ago

      Those animals are vital yet vulnerable. I can't help but sigh everytime I see them cry.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 3 years ago from Jackson, MS

      They are incredible people indeed Anthony. thanks for your comment!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 3 years ago from Connecticut

      What a great story! It's wonderful to see a wild creature return to its natural environment, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people who work tirelessly to help animals in need.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 3 years ago from Jackson, MS

      Thank you Phyllis! Me too!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I love to watch or read about turtles of all kinds, so really enjoyed this hub. I hope Murphy has a long and happy life.

    • mermaidlife profile image

      mermaidlife 6 years ago

      Beautiful flying technique deserves a thumbs up!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 6 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @naturegirl7s: Awesome! Thank you so much! It's a blessing for the Loggerheads (and me!) to be blessed!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 6 years ago from Covington, LA

      Great sea turtle lens. Murphy has been blessed by the Angel of the Barnyard Animals.