Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Caretta caretta

Description

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle has a head that is much bigger than any others out there. The overall body is shaped very similar to a heart. They have a shell that is red and brown on top, then yellow and brown on the bottom of it. They can be up to 250 pounds when they are full grown and close to 36 inches in length.

Distribution

You will find Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They prefer to be in areas that offer beaches full of grainy sand. This is why you will find so many of them along the coast of Mexico and the Bahamas. However, they also make their homes in various lagoons and bays.

Diet /Feeding

You will notice that this sea turtle features very powerful jaws. They are in place to allow them to consume prey that may have a hard shell protecting it. They feed on a variety of foods including fish, crab, jellyfish, shrimp, mollusks, and crustaceans. They will generally dive deep to get these items from the bottom of the ocean. However, they are also known to feed in very shallow waters need the coast.

Loggerhead sea turtle characteristics.

Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

Reproduction

It may sound unbelievable, but the Loggerhead Sea Turtle isn’t ready for reproduction until they are approximately 33 years old. The courting process takes place as the males and females are migrating to their breeding grounds. The females decide who they will mate with.

The females can reproduce several times in a single mating season. They will deposit several nests of eggs that take up to two months to hatch. The young are completely on their own to survive when they hatch, and it is fascinating to see hundreds of them scrambling toward the water.

Human interaction

Since these sea turtles don’t reproduce for many decades after they are born, there are concerns about their future. Many of the adults have been killed due to fishing nets and many of the young are destroyed due to their eggs being collected. In the past they have also been hunted for their meat and their shells. The fat from their bodies used to be used for making cosmetics and various types of medications.

Conservation

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle currently has a status as a Threatened Species. It is closely being watched and efforts are in place to help the population increase. Hopefully with such early intervention they won’t move any higher in the ranks towards being endangered. Many of the conservation efforts are on the older Loggerhead Sea Turtles as they are the ones able to reproduce at this time.

Conservation efforts continue so that the natural habitat of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle can be protected. Limits on where fishing equipment can be placed has been helpful. The amount of pollution in the water is another issue that has to be addressed to protect these sea turtles. On many beaches you will see blocked off areas with signs that say it is the Loggerhead Sea Turtle nesting area. This area will be closely monitored to ensure no one enters it. If you observe closely though you may be able to see the females depositing their eggs.

What has also been noticed is that many of the young have a hard time getting out of their eggs. This is where experts come in and give them a hand. Since these young Loggerhead Sea Turtles would die without their intervention, this helps to promote more of them having a chance of survival. They are released into the water which means they won’t be prey for birds either as they make their way from the beach to the water.