Sea turtles are one of the world’s most charismatic and well-loved marine animals. But, despite worldwide adoration, sea turtles face declines around the world due to bycatch, exploitation, and habitat loss. All but one of the seven species is globally threatened.

Learn more about our world’s extant sea turtle species below!

Leatherback

Leatherback turtles are the deepest diving reptiles in the animal kingdom, diving down to depths of up to 1000 meters.

Green

Adult green turtles are the only species that are strictly herbivorous, feeding on algae and sea grass.

Hawksbill

Hawksbills colourful and patterned carapace make them the most common species to be sold as tortoiseshell in markets. This has led to their global exploitation and subsequent declines (in the image below the individual was satellite tagged for research purposes).

Loggerhead

Loggerhead turtles are named due to their muscular heads and powerful jaws, which help them crush the shells of their hard-shelled prey.

Flatback

Flatback turtles have the smallest range of the seven species of turtle, with breeding and nesting only occurring in Australia.

Kemps Ridley

Unlike other sea turtle species, kemps ridley sea turtles come up to nest in the day light, with females coming up onto the beach all at once.

Olive Ridley

Olive ridley turtles are known for their mass breeding events called arribadas, in which thousands of females come up to nest on the beach at once.

Sea turtles are extremely important and play key roles in the ecosystems they live within, such as acting as predator, prey and competitor, transporting nutrients and modifying landscapes, therefore efforts to help their populations must continue.


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