The loggerhead turtle scientifically known as "Caretta Caretta," got its name
because they have large heads that support their muscles. It also allows them to catch their prey.
These species are found in various coastal areas, such as Meso American reef, coast of Africa,
Gulf of California and the coral triangle. The loggerhead turtle weighs in at about 175-400
pounds and its length measures from 33-48 inches (3-4 feet). Their skin differs from yellow to
brown and the shell is typically reddish-brown. A way you can tell the male and female turtle
apart is by their tails, the males have thicker tales and shorter pastrons. They have a lifespan of
47-67 years. Loggerhead sea turtles are considered as endangered species and are protected
by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
These sea turtles are a living representative of a group of reptiles that have been
on earth and traveled our seas for 100 million years! These turtles are a fundamental link in
marine ecosystems and they also help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass.
They are mostly common in the Mediterranean. The turtles nest on
beaches from Greece, Turkey, Israel and Libya. Most of their time spent are in saltwater and
estuarine habitats. Loggerheads are in water with a temperature ranging 13-28 degrees celsius,
suitable for most nesting females. During non nesting season the temperature is 56-82 degrees
fahrenheit. They rarely come to shore until female sea turtles breifly come along to lay eggs.
With them having a low reproductive rate, they lay four egg clutches and go quiscent, this means
that they produce no eggs for 2-3 years. Newly hatched turtles live in floating mats of Sargassum
algae. They share the habitat with other organisms. As many as 100 different animals live on the
Sargassum mats. Where they catch prey, which include ants, flies, aphids, leafhoppers and
beetles. These prey are carried by the wind to the area. A majority of their nesting beaches are
under threat because of tourism development.
Loggerheads face many threats. Onshore and offshore. They have many predators
starting from thier early years. From egg to nestling on up to migration from their nests to the
sea. Adults are least attacked because of their large size but can be preyed on by sharks, seals
and killer whales. Nesting females are attacked by flies, feral dogs and humans. The greatest
cause for logger head turtles worldwide is incidental capturing in fishing gear. Mostly in
longlines and gillnets but also in trawls, traps, pots and dredges. In some places this still happens
such as the Bahamas, Cuba, and Mexico. They are also killed for their eggs, meat,…