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April 21, 2018  |  Login

Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Caretta caretta

What Are They Like?

The Loggerhead sea turtle is the second largest and most abundant of the marine turtle species. Loggerheads measure 28-39 inches (70-99 centimeters) and can weigh up to 350 pounds (160 kilograms). As their name indicates, they have large heads, and are equipped with powerful jaws that are well-suited for crushing lobster, crabs and other shelled prey. The carapace (shell) is reddish brown and slightly heart shaped.

Where Do They Live?

Loggerheads inhabit tropical and temperate waters worldwide. They tend to prefer coastal habitats for feeding.

Did You Know?
Loggerhead Turtles can swim at speeds of up to 15mi (24 km) per hour.

How Are Babies Made?

Loggerhead sea turtles mate offshore, in close range of their nesting areas. At night, females will come onshore to lay their eggs. Females usually nest every two to three years.

What Do They Eat?

Loggerheads are primarily carnivores and feed on conch, lobster, crabs, jellyfish and fish. They are also known to occasionally eat seaweed.

Did You Know?
The only sea turtle larger than the Loggerhead is the Leatherback Turtle.

What Do They Do?

Loggerheads have an impressive range and can be found hundreds of miles out in the open sea. They spend the majority of their lives swimming in open waters foraging for food.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the Loggerhead as "endangered." The Loggerhead sea turtle faces a variety of threats on land as well as in the ocean. Human activity and development along the shore has been responsible for major disruptions to nesting areas. Nests are also targeted by natural predators. In the water, loggerheads may become entangled in commercial fishing nets and drown. Discarded plastic bags are sometimes mistaken for food and are responsible for many deaths when they clog the digestive tract. Loggerhead turtles are also hunted for their shells.

What's Being Done?

The loggerhead sea turtle was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1973. Efforts are currently being made in the US for the protection of nesting areas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), as well as a number of state agencies, have brought forth regulations to eliminate or reduce threats to sea turtles. Individuals can help by not purchasing illegal turtle products, and responsibly disposing of plastic bags, balloons or any other product that may harm animals in the ocean.


Caretta Caretta

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