June 16th is World Sea Turtle Day. While we all know that they are beautiful, the youngster rushes to the water when they hatch and often becomes victims of plastic waste . But there’s more to these guys. These guys deserve their own day because of their amazing anatomy and physical abilities.
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Facts About Sea Turtles
1. They believe jellyfish are delicious.
Leatherbacks and hawkbills eat jellyfish to keep their population in check. Plastic Looks like jellyfish floating in water. That’s why so many turtles are killed by plastic–they were looking for a tasty snack.
2. They are the lawnmowers of the oceans.
Green sea turtles eat more plants and seagrass. They keep seagrass short to prevent it growing taller and causing harm to other marine animals.
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3. They are not able to retract their shells like other turtles.
Sea turtles don’t need to defend themselves against predators during their entire life on the water. They can simply retract flippers and go into their shells. They are more agile under the water but less mobile when hatching or nesting.
4. The temperature determines baby turtles sex
More females are born in warmer nests, while more males are born in cooler nests. This is why Climate Change could have a devastating impact on their population by creating too many males to reproduce with them.
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5. They have been around for a long time.
The estimated 110 million year spans the time sea turtles have been on Earth. This means that they once shared Earth with T-Rex, other dinosaurs.
6. They can hold their breath underwater for up to five hours.
This feat is possible by slowing down their heart rate for up to nine minutes between heartbeats.
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7. They can live up to 100 years.
That’s about how many eggs they lay each time they nest.
8. Sea turtles don’t like dogs.
Although marine animals are, their natural predators include dogs that dig up their eggs in the sand.
9. They are very good at following directions.
Sea turtles are able to detect the Earth’s magnetic fields, and use them as a compass.
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Fun Facts About Sea Turtles
They are really old
Sea turtles are among the oldest living creatures on Earth. Their oldest fossil, a sea turtle fossil, is estimated to be at least 120,000,000 years old. This means that they could share the planet with dinosaurs, which died around 65 million years earlier.
Travel with a shell
To eat their favorite jellyfish, leatherback turtles will travel over 16,000km.
There is no better place than home.
When it is time to lay eggs, female marine turtles return back to the nesting ground where they were born.
No scuba gear required
Green turtles can keep their breath underwater for up to five hours. They slow down their heartbeats by up to nine minutes between heartbeats to conserve oxygen.
The leatherback turtle can reach up to 900 kilograms in weight and is one of the largest turtles.
Survival of the fittest
Although turtle hatchlings can be adorable, only one thousand will make it to adulthood.
The temperature at which the nest is heated determines the gender of a hatchling. Higher temperatures will produce more females, while cooler temperatures will result in more males.
Just keep swimming
Because male sea turtles live almost their entire lives at sea, they do not have to return home to nest like females.
Tears of turtle
Although turtles can cry, it’s not because they are sad. Their eyes look like they are crying because of the way their glands remove excess salt.
They can live up to 100 years. This is the same age as the number of eggs that female sea turtles lay each year when they nest.