Saturday, December 18, 2010

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is a sea turtle found throughout the world.  They have a life span of 67 years, becoming mature at the age of 17 or 34 years of age.  It is an endangered species of sea turtle.  It is endangered due to poaching and water pollution.

Physical Features                                                        Carapace of these turtles
Measuring about 95 centimeters (37 inches) and weighing about 200 kilograms, the loggerhead sea turtle becomes the largest hard shelled sea turtle.  The largest specimen caught weighed about 545 kilograms and had an astonishing carapace length of 213 cm (84 inches).  Their body is divided into two parts like all turtles: the carapace (the upper body) and the plastron (the lower body).  The carapace generally has 5 vertebral scutes running down carapace's mid-line while there are about 5 coastal scutes on each side of the mid-line.  Their are about 11 or 12 pairs of marginal scutes bordering the carapace.  The head and the carapace can range from a yellowish orange to a reddish brown while the plastron can be a pale yellow.

The loggerhead turtle is distributed throughout the world.  It in habits the Atlantic ocean, the Indian ocean and the Pacific ocean.  Very few populations are found around the European as well as the African coastlines.  In Florida, there are about 67,000 nest build every year.  In the Arabian Peninsula, Oman, there are about 15,000 nests built every year, making it the second largest nesting site in the world.  Western Australia has about 1000 to 2000 nests built every year.

The loggerhead sea turtle has an omnivorous diet, consuming many types of gastropods, decapods and various types of bivalves.  The loggerhead turtle eats sand dollars, sea urchins, sea pens, sea cucumbers, different types of cephalopods, sea anemones, starfish and many other sea creatures.

Source of picture 1:
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