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What are some loggerhead turtle facts?

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Quick Answer

The loggerhead turtle earns its namesake by its characteristic large head and heavy jaws. It also has a smooth, hard and bony, heart-shaped shell protecting its back.

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The loggerhead turtle is a sea turtle that dwells in all the world's oceans except for the very northern and southern latitudes, where the water is too cold. It prefers coastal waters, estuaries and habitats, traveling inland via rivers for quite a distance and sometimes traveling hundreds of miles out to sea.

It's also the largest hard-shelled turtle, with adults reaching up to 36 inches in shell length and weighing 250 pounds. Some loggerheads have been found to weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They can live more than 50 years in the wild, and can swim up to 15 miles per hour despite their large size.

The female loggerhead turtle mates once every two to four years and nests up to seven times a season. The nests or clutches contain between 100 and 126 eggs, taking about 60 days to incubate and hatch. After hatching, these turtles travel in groups called flotillas.

The loggerhead is considered a carnivore, living on marine life such as mollusks, crabs, jellyfish and fish. Its strong jaw enables it to crack open the protective shells of its prey.

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