What Are Some Interesting Facts About Sea Turtles?


Quick Answer

Sea turtles are a species of reptile, meaning they are cold-blooded, have scales, lay eggs, have a heart with three or four chambers and breathe through lungs. There are seven species of sea turtle: the hawksbill, flatback, loggerhead, leatherback, green, Kemp's ridley and olive ridley. As of 2014, they are all listed under the Endangered Species Act.

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Females lay their eggs at the same beaches where they were born, even though it can take up to 35 years for them to sexually mature. The gender of the hatchlings is directly affected by temperature, with cool temperatures favoring males and warmer temperatures favoring females. The hatchlings are born under the sand, and then they run to the ocean. This can be a dangerous journey as there are numerous predators that try to attack them.

Sea turtles often have migration patterns of extremely long distances. According to About, a leatherback turtle was tracked for over 12,000 miles – as of 2008, this is the longest-known vertebrate migration.

Turtles have an exceptionally long lifespan, averaging 70 to 80 years. It is estimated that the first marine turtles lived approximately 220 million years ago. Unlike modern sea turtles, this first sea turtle, the odontochelys, had teeth.

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