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In this article, we have gathered 5 Loggerhead turtle facts. Not only will they surprise you, but also help you to respect and know more about these wonderful animals.
Frequently, we have an encounter with the imposing loggerhead turtles when we are scuba diving in Caribbean Seawater. With their huge eyes, their enormous head and that characteristic shell, they manage to put a smile on our lips although these are occupied by the regulator.
We start this Loggerhead turtle facts article with a formal introduction. Loggerhead’s scientific name is Caretta caretta and they are Cheloniidae family reptiles
Loggerhead Turtle Facts: Its size
As divers, we already know we perceive things underwater 1/3 larger than they are. Nonetheless, when we see one of these sea turtles, we can be sure they have a sizeable measure.
It is one of the most striking Loggerhead turtle facts. Our friends can weigh 200-400 pounds (90 – 180 kg) and the largest ones can get to be 4 feet long, about 1.2 meters.
On the other hand, their head size is the reason why they have been given the nickname: Loggerheads. From the English words “Log Head”. Besides, they have a huge and hard reddish-brown shell. In short, they are imposing animals.
Loggerhead Turtle Facts: Its jaws
Loggerhead turtles are omnivorous and have very useful tools for feeding. We are talking about their jaws. Their mouths are extremely strong and powerful, so they are capable of preying on resistant shells crustaceans, crabs, sea urchins, and lobsters. This fact does not mean that they don’t eat other delicious dishes like jellyfish, some fish, and even their favorite vegetables, algae.
Loggerhead Turtle Facts: Migrations and guidance system
We can find loggerhead turtles specimens in virtually every ocean on earth. Of course, they live preferably in warm or temperate waters, never in the icy waters near the poles.
However, one Loggerhead turtle fact that surprises most highlights their ability to migrate. Specifically, those females that are going to be moms. Did you know they can travel more than 12,000 km / 7456 miles across the Pacific Ocean just to nest on the same beach where they were born?
Another Loggerhead turtle fact comes from a discovery made by the scientists of the University of Barcelona. They are researching these turtles their orientation capacity and they have discovered that not only can the females return to the place where they were born, but also the males travel to these areas to reproduce themselves.
But what is their guidance system? Until recent discoveries, they were supposed to use the position of the sun as a reference. However, a study from the University of North Carolina has found turtles are sensitive to small variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. In this way, they travel through the sea. Thus, they manage to go to the beach where they were born and will continue to do it as long as the action of man does not interfere in some way.
Loggerhead Turtle Facts: How they nest
We have just seen that loggerhead turtles travel hundreds of kilometers to nest. However, only females go back onto the dry land to nest on the beach. Meanwhile, males spend the rest of their lives in the water.
As reptiles, loggerheads creep through the sand drawing zigzagging grooves or crawls. In the proper place, they use their powerful legs as a tool to dig and after spawning in the nest, they cover the eggs carefully. Finally, they leave them alone to ripe without protection.
During the eggs’ maturation process, temperatures are very important. Did you know that the weather will condition the sex the offspring? While the eggs ripen, if the temperature is high there will be more female turtles, if the temperatures drop, more males hatch from the eggs.
After 60 days, the little turtles ascend but do not emerge to the surface. We are facing another curiosity of the loggerhead turtle. Newborns measure only 2 inches / 5 cm., the size of a coin. For that reason, they wait covered by sand until it gets dark. When the sun finally falls it is time to run to save their lives and get to the water as soon as possible. Hidden at night they avoid the many predators that stalk them.
Loggerhead Turtle Facts: The great survivors
Although in Spanish they are called “bobas” which means stupid, their behavior denotes a highly developed evolutionary level. In other words, they are not dumb at all.
When newborns reach the water, they are still too weak to survive. So, to protect themselves, they hide among the sargassum. These brown algae are, at the same time, protective, camouflage and food for breeding turtles. One of the smartest loggerhead turtle facts! Isn’t it?
Well, even after so many precautions, only one in 1,000 turtles will live to become adults.
To the delight of Dressel Divers‘ guests, the Caribbean is part of the loggerhead turtle habitat. Now that you know some loggerhead turtle facts, sure, you will look at them with other eyes the next time you meet one. Tell us, when are you coming to see them?