Sea Turtle Species

There are 7 distinct sea turtle species that have been identified in the world.

The Green Sea Turtle is the most common you will find. They are mainly found around the Pacific coast of Mexico as well as Florida. They can be up to five feet in length and 400 pounds. The young Green Sea Turtles are often gray in color. As they become mature adults they will develop a green coloring. They consume both plants and animals.

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle has the largest head of all of them. It also has a very large jaw. They feature colors of red and yellow on their flippers. They are around three feet long and 200 pound as adults. They are meat eaters and they will dive to great depths in the water to find what they want to consume.

The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle features an olive coloring which is where the name derives from. It is the smallest of all the species of turtles. Full grown they will never be more than three feet long or 110 pounds. They have more pairs of costals – between 6 and 9 – while all other species of sea turtles only have five. They are primarily meat eaters but have been known to consume algae when necessary.

Types of Sea Turtles
  1. Green Sea Turtle
  2. Leatherback Sea Turtle
  3. Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  4. Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  5. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
  6. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
  7. Flatback Sea Turtle

The Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle is also very small. They can be from three feet and weight about 150 pounds. They feature an oval body shape while most other species have a heart shape. The head is triangle shaped though which is another unique characteristic. The have a beak like mouth which helps it to kill mollusks as they are the main food source for these sea turtles.

Hawksbill Sea Turtles are medium sized and feature a very long shell. They have a head that is very small, and seems out of proportion with the rest of their body. They also have a beak like mouth. The front flippers have claws on the too. These flippers will feature colors of red, orange, and yellow. They are generally about three feet long and 200 pounds. They tend to live around the coral reef and are content to feed on sponges.

The largest type of sea turtle out there is the Leatherback. It is also the one that consumes the most food and migrates the greatest distance for breeding. They can be about eight feet in length and up to 2,000 pounds when full grown. They are meat eaters and mainly will feed upon jellyfish.

7 species of sea turtles.

Green sea turtles in Hawaii.

Found mainly in Australia, the Flatback Sea Turtle is one we don’t know too much about. They are medium sized and they do migrate to breeding grounds that are hundreds of miles from their normal habitat. They consume a wide variety of meat and plant life. This includes jellyfish, shrimp, mollusks, and sea grass.

All of these species of sea turtles are either classified as threatened or endangered. This is why learning about them and doing all you can towards established conservation efforts is so important. We definitely don’t want to see any of these species of sea turtles becoming extinct. They are threatened by their natural habitat being taken over by people wishing to enjoy those same beaches.

There is a great deal more information you can find out about each of these species of sea turtles. Hopefully the more you learn about them the more passionate you will become about protecting them. Sea turtles have their own special place in the balance of aquatic life, and should they disappear that balance will have severe consequences on other animals and humans.