Ten Incredible Sea Turtle Facts

Sea Turtle

By Jenée

Amazing Sea Turtle Facts

Female sea turtles return to the place of their birth to lay their eggs, sometimes laying those eggs mere inches from their own birthplace. This is the only time female sea turtles leave the ocean. Male sea turtles enter the ocean as newborns and never leave. Yes, the ladies do all the heavy lifting while the guys kick back in the water (typical, right?).

Talk about mommy issues

The female lays her eggs in the sand and then never returns, which means the offspring fend for themselves from birth. Sea turtle birthday parties totally suck.

It’s not polite to ask their weight

Sea turtles can be massive, weighing up to 2,000 pounds. And that’s all without eating dessert.

Nor is it polite to ask their age

Only one hatchling in a thousand makes it to adulthood (15-25) but the ones who do can live up to 100 years. Getting past puberty is rough for everybody.

They were around before eight track tapes

Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on Earth, with fossils dating back 150 million years. To provide some context, dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. Despite such longevity, all eight species of sea turtles are now considered endangered.

Go deep

Leatherbacks can dive to a depth of more than a mile in search of their prey, jellyfish. This fact surely pisses off anybody who’s been stung by a jellyfish in water two feet deep.

Have shell, will travel

Sea turtles rack up the frequent floater points, with some ambitious swimmers covering more than 10,000 miles each year.

Take their breath away

The feeding dives of green turtles usually only last five minutes or less but they can hold their breath for up to seven hours. Yogis, please don’t try that at home.

Jealousy isn’t cool

Turtles are not monogamous and will mate with several partners during the course of a season. If the shell’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’ (just wait five minutes and it will be your turn).

The most mind-blowing fact of all

A sea turtle’s gender is determined by the temperature of the nest. A nest that is left in warmer temperatures will produce turtles that are all female while a nest in a cooler spot will produce male turtles. If you’ve ever wanted to play god, a sea turtle hatchery is where you can experience it.

Bonus tale

Indian mythology asserts that the survival of the sea turtle insures the survival of the world. According to the myth, Earth rests on the back of three elephants. These elephants in turn stand on the shell of a giant sea turtle, which swims in an infinite sea. It is believed that if the sea turtle disappears the world will end… so save the sea turtle!

Which of these sea turtle facts is your favorite? Do you have any more to share? Tell us in the comments below and sign up to save the sea turtles on your next trip to Blue Osa!

Photo Cred: Anahí Quiñones

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Ten Incredible Sea Turtle Facts

About the Author

Jenée is slowly working her way around the world, one job at a time. It began at age 19 when she moved to Hawaii for a three month stint (which turned into almost five years) even though she didn’t know a soul there. She later toured as a standup comedian all over the United States and even performed for our military troops in a dozen countries, including Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea and Afghanistan.
 

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