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About Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have long fascinated both biologists and conservationists. All of the seven species found in the world’s oceans are listed as either endangered or threatened. Of these, five species are found in waters of the Indian subcontinent.

Over millions of years of their existence, sea turtles have evolved a variety of remarkable strategies for survival. They use a wide range of habitats (sandy beaches, coral reefs, sea grass beds, etc.), thus playing a critical role as flagship species for the conservation of the oceans’ ecosystems and diversity. Many of these habitats face mounting threats today around the world. Sea turtles are also an important part of the traditional culture of many coastal indigenous peoples all round the world.

Species

Green turtle

Green turtles are the largest of all the hard-shelled sea turtles, but have a comparatively smaller head.

Hawksbill

One of the smaller sea turtle species, the hawksbill turtle gets its name from its narrow, elongated head which tapers sharply with a V-shaped lower jaw.

Olive ridley

The olive ridley is the smallest of all the sea turtle species. It gets its name from the olive green colouration of its carapace (shell).

Loggerhead

Adult loggerheads measure between 75 and 100 cm in length and typically weigh up to 159 kg. Loggerheads are named after their exceptionally large heads.

Leatherback

Largest among all the sea turtle species, leatherbacks get their name from the their unique shell, which is composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates that make it appear “leathery”.

Source

Shanker, K. (2003) (Series Editor) Manuals on sea turtle conservation. A GOI UNDP Sea Turtle Project. Centre for Herpetology/Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Tamil Nadu, India.