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At lower temperatures, males are favored. [75], Carl Linnaeus gave the loggerhead its first binomial name, Testudo caretta, in 1758. Many animals prey upon loggerhead turtles. [45] Inward-pointing, mucus-covered papillae found in the fore region of the loggerhead's esophagus filter out foreign bodies, such as fish hooks. Similar to other sea turtles, such as the leatherback and loggerhead, green sea turtles migrate long distances between their feeding grounds and their mating-nesting sites, with recorded distances longer than 2,600 kilometres – that’s further than London to Athens in Greece! [40], Water temperature affects the sea turtle's metabolic rate. [86] The most common commercial fishery that accidentally takes loggerheads are bottom trawls used for shrimp vessels in the Gulf of California. As the juvenile matures, its swimming method is progressively replaced with the adult's alternating-limb method. [12] The eggs are typically laid on the beach in an area above the high-tide line. Loggerheads use pointed scales on their forelimbs to manipulate and tear food, which the turtle crushes with powerful jaws. The number of Loggerheads today is small and so governments in many countries have laws that do not allow them to be hunted anymore. They occur throughout temperate and tropical regions of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. [54], More than 100 species of animals from 13 phyla, as well as 37 kinds of algae, live on loggerheads' backs. We are talking about their jaws. [24] The largest Indian Ocean nesting site is Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula, which hosts around 15,000 nests, giving it the second largest nesting population of loggerheads in the world. Within their heads are powerful jaws, which loggerheads use for crushing prey like conchs, horseshoe crabs, and other animals with hard shells. This turtle is named for its very large head. A female lays, on average, about 112 eggs, usually distributed between four clutches. The loggerhead sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled turtle in the world. [65][69] Unlike other sea turtles, courtship and mating usually do not take place near the nesting beach, but rather along migration routes between feeding and breeding grounds. Because of high mortality and slow reproductive rates, the outlook is not good for this species. Sea Turtle Conservancy 4581 NW 6th St, Suite A Gainesville, FL 32609 Phone: 352-373-6441 Fax: 352-375-2449 stc@conserveturtles.org Females return to the beach where they themselves hatched in order to lay eggs in the sand. Female-female aggression is common, both in the wild and in captivity. This is unique, as mating-induced ovulation is rare outside of mammals. Record Holder. Very few loggerheads are found along the European and African coastlines. Such damage can cause the male to dismount and may require weeks to heal. Efforts to restore their numbers will require international cooperation, since the turtles roam vast areas of ocean and critical nesting beaches are scattered across several countries. [96] Greece's ARCHELON works for their conservation. [11] Hatchling loggerheads live in this pelagic environment until they reach juvenile age, and then they migrate to nearshore waters. Loggerhead sea turtles are most active during the day. Some of these species live up to 100 years! It has the proportionately largest head of the sea turtles; this feature may… The average duration of dives is 15–30 min, but they can stay submerged for up to four hours. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Name: The loggerhead sea turtle owes its name to its large head (which grows up to 10 inches / 25 centimeters wide).The head is also equipped with two powerful jaws used to crush the shells of molluscs and crustaceans. For other uses, see, "Caretta" redirects here. [59], Hatchlings can lose up to 20% of their body mass due to evaporation of water as they journey from nest to ocean. The nesting season is short, between May and August in the Northern Hemisphere and between October and March in the Southern Hemisphere. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (298 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). [65] Female loggerheads first reproduce at ages 28–33 in Southeastern United States and Australia, and at ages 17–30 in South Africa. At 30 °C there is an equal ratio of male and females turtles. [97] The Marine Research Foundation works for loggerhead conservation in Oman. Turtle excluder devices have been implemented in efforts to reduce mortality by providing an escape route for the turtles. As you keep reading, you will learn about 35+ amazing facts of these mysterious and coolest surfers in the sea. [30] Because of this, Greek authorities do not allow planes to take off or land at night in Zakynthos due to the nesting turtles. Although found in many parts of the world, the loggerhead’s conservation status is ‘Vulnerable’. Loggerhead turtles enjoy the largest distribution range of any sea turtle. [69] Construction of new thermal power stations can raise local water temperature, which is also said to be a threat.[93]. Climate change is another cause for concern. Large head with powerful jaws; Heart shaped shell; Thick front flippers with 2 claws; Color of the head and carapace (top shell) range from yellow-orange to reddish-brown; Underside of the shell (called plastron) is pale yellow [23], One record of this turtle was made in Ireland when a specimen washed ashore on Ballyhealy Beach in County Wexford. They are also found in the Mediterranean Sea. Historically, hunting for their meat, shells, and eggs, caused heavy population decline. As compared to different species of marine turtles, loggerhead turtles have larger heads. For the moment, the IUCN currently lists the impressive species as Vulnerable. Plastic can cause intestinal blockage, plus it releases toxic compounds that damage tissues, thin eggshells, or alter turtle behavior. Read on to get the lowdown on this threatened ocean voyager … The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (298 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). TEDs are mandatory for all shrimp trawlers. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Facts. Facts about Loggerhead Turtles 9: the death of loggerhead. [12] Loggerheads are listed as endangered under both Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992. Sea Turtle Conservancy 4581 NW 6th St, Suite A Gainesville, FL 32609 Phone: 352-373-6441 Fax: 352-375-2449 stc@conserveturtles.org [37], Juvenile loggerheads share the Sargassum habitat with a variety of other organisms. The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. [35] In the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, age plays a factor in habitat preference. [53] A nematode, Angiostoma carettae, also infects loggerheads,[54] causing histologic lesions in the respiratory tract. Confused by the brighter artificial light, they navigate inland, away from the protective waters, which exposes them to dehydration and predation as the sun rises. Loggerhead sea turtles have a kind of "magnetic map” in their heads. Loggerhead turtles generally have a shell that is about three feet long and usually weight about 250 pounds. Lachrymal glands behind each eye allow the turtle to excrete excess salt, giving the appearance of tears. [60] They initially use the undertow to push them five to 10 m away from the shore. Nesting females are hunted by dogs and sometimes humans. [62] During their seasonal migration, juvenile loggerheads have the ability to use both magnetic and visual cues. [24] Eastern Pacific populations are concentrated off the coast of Baja California, where upwelling provides rich feeding grounds for juvenile turtles and subadults. [50] Aggressive efforts to destroy foxes in the 1980s and 1990s has reduced this impact; however, it is estimated that it will be the year 2020 before populations will experience complete recovery from such dramatic losses.[51]. They are found along the continental shelves and river estuaries of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. [81] During the most recent ice age, the beaches of southeastern North America were too cold for sea turtle eggs. Quick facts about the second largest sea turtle in the world! At breeding sites when a loggerhead turtle lays multiple clutches in a season, a higher temperature will cause the duration of time between laying two different nests to become shorter. [11] The turtle's neck and sides are brown on the tops and yellow on the sides and bottom. Loggerhead turtles are named for their large heads that support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey like clams and sea urchins. [69] Urbanization often leads to the siltation of sandy beaches, decreasing their viability. It inhabits the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, turtle meat and eggs are still consumed in countries where regulations are not strictly enforced. The turtles are seemingly territorial, and will fight with other loggerheads and sea turtles of different species. [74] This process takes one to two hours, and occurs in open sand areas or on top of sand dunes, preferably near dune grasses that the females can use to camouflage the nest. Civilization is harmi… [88] Loggerheads may mistake the floating plastic for jellyfish, a common food item. Sea turtles are ancient species, having been around since the time of the dinosaurs — about 110 million years. Also their fat and shells were used to make medicines, combs, and other things. Females only lay eggs every two or three years. These sea turtles, like many sea turtle species, are threatened with extinction.. [13] Five vertebral scutes run down the carapace's midline, while five pairs of costal scutes border them. The loggerhead sea turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Further, only the Leatherback Sea Turtle, which lacks a hard shell, exceeds it in terms of sheer size. FAMILY: Cheloniidae STATUS: The loggerhead sea turtle was initially listed as threatened throughout its range (Federal Register, July 28, 1978). [68] Male forms of courtship behavior include nuzzling, biting, and head and flipper movements. [26] The return journey to the natal beaches in Japan has been long suspected, although the trip would cross unproductive clear water with few feeding opportunities. [81], The distinct populations of loggerheads have unique characteristics and genetic differences. [49], Fibropapillomatosis disease caused by a form of the herpes-type virus threatens loggerheads with internal and external tumors. Their mouths are extremely strong and powerful, so they are capable of preying on resistant shells crustaceans, crabs, sea urchins, and lobsters. [15], Sexual dimorphism of the loggerhead sea turtle is only apparent in adults.

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