Sea turtles are reptiles that have a carapace and limbs that resemble flippers, as well as being able to stay submerged for long periods of time.
They are animals that breathe through lungs , but can stay in the water for long periods, “holding their breath”. They are beings that have an excellent ability to orient themselves, highlighting the female’s ability to locate the beach where she was born to spawn, the only moment when this animal leaves the water. In Brazil, spawning occurs mainly in the months of September and March, for those turtle species that lay their eggs on the mainland, and between December and May, for those that carry out the process on oceanic islands.
Sea turtles breed mainly in tropical regions, however, they are found from the tropics to the subpolar regions. They live in different environments during their life cycle and are therefore highly migratory . All are oviparous and do not take care of their young when they are born, thus not having parental care.
Sea turtles have a variety diet , which changes according to species and age. They feed mainly on sponges , cnidarians , algae , aquatic plants, molluscs , crustaceans, fish , among other beings, and serve as food for various types of animals, both marine and terrestrial. They are therefore important to the food chain .
There are only seven species of sea turtles in the world, whereas in Brazil, only five are found. Unfortunately, all are endangered . The threat is mainly man, who pollutes the oceans, destroys spawning grounds and fishes for these animals. In addition, they also face the consequences of climate change.
– Loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) – It has a carapace with five side and juxtaposed plates, yellowish-brown color and a relatively large head. It can reach up to 136 cm of carapace and over 100 kg.
– Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) – It has a carapace formed by four pairs of side plates and is green when adult and brown when young. It can reach up to 143 cm in length and weight up to 200 kg.
– Hawksbill Turtle( Eretmochelys imbricata ) – It has a carapace with four imbricate side plates and is brown and yellow in color. It can reach up to 114 cm in carapace length and weigh up to 150 kg.
– Leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea ) – It has a black carapace, formed by small bony plates that form folds, and has a thin layer of skin on its surface. It can have a length of up to 182 cm and a weight of up to 700 kg.
– Olive tortoise( Lepidochelys olivacea ) – It has a carapace formed by six or more lateral plates and presents a grayish coloration that darkens with age. It can reach up to 82 cm in length and weigh up to 60 kg.