Sea turtle facts
Sea turtles
 

Sea turtle facts

By: Johan

Sea turtle facts – Taxonomy
Studying the various sea turtle facts is easier if you have a basic understanding of sea turtle taxonomy. Sea turtles are divided into two families and six different genera. The two families are called Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae. The family Cheloniidae contains five genera: Caretta, Chelonia, Eretmochelys, Lepidochelys and Natator. The family Dermochelyidae contains one single genus named Dermochelys. With the exception of the genus Lepidochelys, all the Sea turtle genera each contain one single species. The genus Lepidochelys contains two species, the so called Ridley Sea Turtles Lepiochelys kempii and Lepidochelys olivacea.

Sea turtle facts – Loggerhead Sea Turtle
The Loggerhead sea turtle belongs to the genus Caretta in the family Cheloniidae. Its scientific name is Caretta caretta. Characteristic sea turtle facts when it comes to this species are its blunt jaws and big head. Another unique sea turtle fact is that the Loggerhead sea turtle have five scutes along the carapace side. There are two recognized subspecies of Loggerhead sea turtle: Caretta caretta caretta and Caretta caretta gigas.

Sea turtle facts – Green Sea Turtle
The Green sea turtle belongs to the genus Cheloniain the family Cheloniidae. Its scientific name is Chelonia mydas. Two of he most well known sea turtle facts regarding this species is that its fat is green and that it is the biggest species of hard-shelled sea turtle. The Green sea turtle often reach a length of 1-1.5 metres and can weigh over 200 kilograms. There are two recognized subspecies of Green sea turtle: Chelonia mydas mydas and Chelonia mydas agassizii.

Sea turtle facts – Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The Hawksbill sea turtle belongs to the genus Eretmochelys in the family Cheloniidae. Its scientific name is Eretmochelys imbricata. An interesting sea turtle fact about this species is that it has extraordinarily thick carapacial scutes. The carapace is also sharply serrated at the sides and at the rear portion, with the exception of really old animals that can have less sharply serrated carapaces.

Sea turtle facts – Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Kemp's Ridley sea turtle shares the genus Lepidochelys in the family Cheloniidae with its close relative the Olive Ridley sea turtle. The scientific name for Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is Lepiochelys kempii. This is one of the smallest sea turtles. The adult turtle rarely exceeds 1 metres in length and it weighs no more than 45 kilograms.

Sea turtle facts – Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
The Olive Ridley sea turtle shares the Lepidochelys in the family Cheloniidae with its close relative the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle. The scientific name for the Olive Ridley sea turtle is Lepidochelys olivacea. One of the most distinctive sea turtle facts regarding this type of sea turtle is how the shell is really high domed. The Olive Ridley sea turtle is slightly heavier than Kemp's Ridley sea turtle and average around 50 kilograms.

Sea turtle facts – Flatback Sea Turtle
The Flatback sea turtle belongs to the genus Natator in the family Cheloniidae. Its scientific name is Natator depressus. One of the most important sea turtle facts regarding this species is that it is only found in waters located near the continental shelf of Australia. An adult Flatback sea turtle will typically have a 90 centimetre long carapace.

Sea turtle facts – Leatherback Sea Turtle
Unlike the species listed above, the Leatherback sea turtle does not belong to the family Cheloniidae. This species is instead a member of the family Dermochelyidae and the genus Dermochelys. Its scientific name is Dermochelys coriacea. It is a well know sea turtle fact that this species is the biggest of all extant turtles. Its length can exceed 270 centimetres and it can weigh 900 kilograms. Unlike the other turtles, its shell does not consist of bony scutes.


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