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Fun Facts About Sea Turtles

Posted May 2017

The facts of the matter are, people find Sea Turtles interesting. Here are a few reasons why.

Sea Turtle fact: Nesting: Female Sea Turtles always return to the beach where they hatched to lay their ‘clutch’ of eggs.

Sea Turtle fact: Navigation: The ability to locate a specific spot on a beach from thousands of miles away and traveling underwater is one of the amazing skills of these reptiles. Science now understands their brains are implanted with magnetic particles allowing them to locate the spot where they hatched; they used this GPS long before we did.

Their brains navigate using the earth’s magnetic fields as a guidance mechanism. This was evidenced after researchers measured minute shifts in the earth’s magnetic fields and found similar shifts in turtle nesting behavior.

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Sea Turtle fact: Lungs: Both turtles and tortoises are air breathing reptiles. Sea Turtles spend nearly all their lives in the oceans of the world although they must breathe air. They can sleep for hours underwater; please don’t try this at home.

Sea Turtle fact: Hatchling: The walk from their shells to the sea is important to expand their lungs for the plunge ahead. Resist the urge to help them and they will survive.

Sea Turtle fact: Structure: They are members of the Testudine Family and have fleshy bodies housed in a hard shell. Topside of the shell is called a carapace; the underside or belly is called the plastron. The carapace comprises plates, or large scales, called ‘scutes’.

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Sea Turtle fact: Waterproof: Unlike tortoises, the head and limbs of Sea Turtles cannot retract into its shell. If Sea Turtles could behave like tortoises they would no longer be seaworthy. Instead, they would fill with water and sink. Lacking those retractable attachments Sea Turtles developed clever ways of ‘tucking’ their heads and flippers close to the underside of their hard shells to protect them against predators.

Sea Turtle fact: Hearing: Sea Turtles have difficulty hearing as they have no outer ears. Instead they have a special ‘ear-bone’, which senses low frequencies between, 200 Hz–700 Hz.
Sound travels from the outside, via a tube leading from a set of scales called the coetaneous plate; which covers a thick layer of skin above an inner fatty layer. The vibrations travel through the tube to an inner oratory diaphragm.

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Sea Turtle fact: Sight: They enjoy excellent vision underwater but on land their vision distorts. Sight is hampered by the spherical-shape of the optic lenses designed to adjust refracted light underwater.

Sea Turtle fact: Sex: When Sea Turtle eggs are incubating the embryo is neutral; neither male nor female. The gender of the hatchling is decided by the temperature of the sands covering the nest during incubation; it’s called Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination (TSD).

There is a Pivotal Temperature' of 29 °C or 82 °F; at that point an equal number of males and females will hatch. Above that pivotal temperature females will be produced and below the pivotal temperature only males hatch. We then begin to understand how global warming’ is impacting the species.

Part 2
Coming up...

  • The individual species and their peculiarities.
  • Threats to Turtles and Other Marine Species
  • Sea Turtle Conservation
  • The Conservationists
  • Counting Sea Turtles is Not Easy
  • New Ways of Counting

We hope you have found our facts about Sea Turtles fun.

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