Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sea Turtles

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle Coming Up For Air

Green Turtle

Today I'm doing a post on sea turtles because yesterday I watched a show about sea turtles and how that they are endangered. I felt that I needed to show every one about the sea turtle.

Sea turtles inhabit all of the worlds oceans except for the Arctic. There is the Leatherback Sea Turtle, the Flatback Sea Turtle, the Ridley Sea Turtle, the Green Sea Turtle, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle,  and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle. They belong to the superfamily Chelonioidea.

 It takes decades for sea turtles to get ready to reproduce. After they mate, the female sea turtle returns to land to nest, which they do at night. Some sea turtles nest at the place where they hatched. This can take place every two to four years once matured. They make from one to eight nests per season.

The female gets on to the beach by hauling herself up using her hind flippers. Once she finds a suitable nesting spot, she digs a circular hole about 40 to 50 centimetres deep. Then she lays the nest with a clutch of soft-shelled eggs one by one until she deposited 50-200 eggs. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle has been reported to lay 250 eggs. Then she piles the sand back on the hole. After that she smooths the sand back till it almost undetected visibly. After she is done, which may take 3o to 6o minutes, she drags herself back to the ocean, leaving the eggs alone.

The temperature can determine which gender the hatchlings will be.  Lighter sands maintain higher temperatures, which decreases incubation time and results in more female hatchlings.
Green Turtle Hatchling

Incubation takes two or so months. The eggs in one nest hatch together over a very short period of time. When ready, hatchlings tear their shells apart with their nose and dig through the sand. Again, this usually takes place at night, when predators such as seagulls cannot fly. But out of a thousand hatchlings, only one survives till adulthood.

The hatchlings then go on to the ocean, where predators await them.  In 1987, Carr discovered that the young of Green Turtles and the Loggerhead Turtles spent a great deal of their young lives in floating sargassum beds, where there are thick mats of unanchored seaweed. When they grow up the cycle is repeated.

Every species of sea turtle is either endangered or threatened. Beach development is area which threatens sea turtles. Since many turtles return to the same beach each time to nest, development can disrupt the cycle. There has been a movement to protect these areas, in some cases by special police. In some areas, such as the east coast of Florida, conservationists dig up turtle eggs and relocate them to fenced nurseries to protect them from beach traffic.

That's it for now!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely job! This was very well done research!


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