Quantcast

9 Super Cool Facts About Sea Turtles

June 16 is World Sea Turtle Day and while we all know they're pretty, that the younglings rush to the water after they hatch and that they often become victims of plastic waste, there's so much more to these guys. Their age, anatomy and physical abilities are astonishing and undeniably justify giving these guys their own special day.


1. They think jellyfish are delicious.

Leatherbacks and hawkbill turtles feed on jellyfish and keep their populations in check. Plastic looks like jellyfish when it's floating in the water and that's why so many turtles die from ingesting plastic—they were going for a tasty snack.

2. They're the oceans' lawnmowers.

Green sea turtles have a more plant-based diet and eat seagrass. By keeping seagrass short, they prevent it from getting tall and harming other marine creatures.

3. They cannot retract into their shell like other turtles.

Since they don't have to protect themselves from predators for most of their life on water, sea turtles cannot retract their flippers and head into their shells. Their anatomy makes them more agile when under the sea but highly vulnerable when nesting and hatching.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

4. Temperature dictates the sex of baby turtles.

Warmer nests lead to more females and cooler ones lead to more males—which is why climate change could drastically affect their populations by creating too many females and too few males to match them for reproduction.

5. They've been around for a very, very long time.

An estimated 110 million years is how long sea turtles have existed on Earth, which means they once shared the planet with T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

6. They can hold their breath for five hours underwater.

To accomplish this mighty feat they slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes in between heart beats in order to conserve oxygen.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

7. They live to about 100 years.

And that's also roughly the amount of eggs they lay every time they nest.

8. Dogs are not a sea turtle's best friend.

Even though they're marine animals, some of their natural predators include dogs who dig up their eggs buried in the sand.

9. They have an excellent sense of direction.

Sea turtles can detect the Earth's magnetic field and they use it as a compass.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Norway Kills More Whales Than Japan and Iceland Combined

House Democrats Target Trophy Hunting on Anniversary of Cecil's Death

Nepal's Extinct Bird Spotted After Disappearing for 178 Years

12 Fascinating Facts About Fireflies

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City. Ben Sutherland / CC BY 2.0

By Sharon Kelly

A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Sriram Madhusoodanan of Corporate Accountability speaking on conflict of interest demand of the People's Demands at a defining action launching the Demands at COP24. Corporate Accountability

By Patti Lynn

2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The head of England's Environment Agency has urged people to stop watering their lawns as a climate-induced water shortage looms. Pexels

England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Jessica Corbett

A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.

Read More Show Less
A flock of parrots in Telegraph Hill, San Francisco. ~dgies / Flickr

By Madison Dapcevich

Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.

Read More Show Less