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Monday, February 13, 2012

Information About Turtles

The leatherback turtles are the largest sea turtle among all the seven species (they can reach 2 meters in length). They have an extremely wide distribution; being able to swim in cold and warm waters due to their ability to control their body temperature. They also dive as deep as a whale! (1000m)

Leatherback sea turtles have the largest reproductive output of all reptiles; they nest in beaches of tropical and subtropical regions. They lay between 60-85 eggs seven times in a season every 2-4 years.

They migrate very long distances from the nesting beaches to the foraging areas. For example the turtles nesting in Indonesia carry out transoceanic migrations reaching the waters off California where they forage. This species only feeds on jellyfish.

Leatherback turtles have been on earth for over 100 million years. The species is considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species ( due to a decline of 90% of the population in the last 20 years.

Principal causes of the decline:

• Poaching of the eggs and females
• Interaction with fisheries (long lines and gillnets)
• Development of nesting beaches

Most reptiles lay amniotic eggs.The egg shell protects the embryo,and the intemal membranes help embryos develop.

Each species has a distinct appearance,habitat,and diet

Sea turtles are reptiles.Their closest relatives are snakes,lizards,crocodiles,and alligators.

By studying the fossil record,scientists have shown that turtles have been on Earth for more than 250 million years,which is long before dinosaurs.

Unlike other turtles and tortoises,they cannot retract their heads and limbs into their shells.

Scientists estimate that only 1 out of every 1000 sea turtle eggs will produce a fully mature adult.

Turtles that hatch from the other 999 eggs will die before they mate,from natural events or human causes.

Females have two oviducts.These structural adaptations help insure that females lay large clutches of fertile eggs.
» In China the sea turtle is a symbol of longevity and, for that reason, is often revered. Five species of sea turtles are present in Chinese waters in the South China Sea; leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawksbills turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea)
Click here to learn more about China.
Flash puzzle zone:
jigsaw/animals/reptiles/sea-turtle/Turtle games

Turtle games Turtles/flash-games-1

Flash puzzle zone: jigsaw/animals/reptiles/sea-turtle/

Turtle games
The Official Great Turtle Race Educational
A two-week, easy-to-implement set of curricula for various grades created specifically for the Great Turtle Race

Sea Turtles 101 : SWOT Report - The State of the World's Sea Turtles Don't miss this excellent primer in sea turtles and sea turtle science around the world. If you want to learn more about sea turtles go to (where they have access to 3 different reports)

Earth Day Science Symposium: Endangered Sea Turtles

This classroom activity by Earth’s Birthday Project focuses on data analysis, mapping and graphing, and oral presentation. The seven classroom sessions measure student achievement across applied math and science benchmarks.

Sea Turtle Science

This resource offers an hour-long activity—"Survivor! A Loggerhead Hatching”—in which students explore the life stages of loggerhead turtles using actual scientific data. Created by The Bridge, it correlates to the National Science Education standards.

Caribbean Conservation
Corporation's Educational

These include a teacher's guide and activities for kids, such as online quizzes, puzzles, printable coloring books, crosswords and more.

A good example: How to go GREEN!

Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation (Hardcover)

by James R. Spotila (Author)

Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur (Hardcover)
by Carl Safina (Author)
The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles: Archie Carr and the Origins of Conservation Biology (Hardc

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