The life cycle of the sea turtle begins as soon as the females swim ashore. The mature female meets up with the male,and engages in sexual activities. They then swim up to lay eggs in nesting beaches and cover it up with sand, making it appear like a camouflage. Most of them prefer to lay in the tropics, where they can dig deep and large holes.
After nesting in the tropics or subtropics, the female sea turtles head back into the sea, while hoping the egg will survive.
The egg remains in the soil for a period of six to seven weeks. Once this period is complete, the hatchlings will break open the egg and creep out of it. They often break the egg open with an egg tooth known as a caruncle.
Once they are out, the baby turtle moves slowly over the sand until they get to the water. In the process, predators feed upon some, although most of them dodge predators as much as they can.
Once the baby turtle finds its way into the sea, they begin their forage journey. This period is called the lost years because it is difficult to track their movement or activities around this time. Although, researchers claim that the hatchlings born on the US East Coast head towards the Sargassum Sea.
This is because of the abundance of seaweeds in this area. They can remain in the Sargassum Sea while feeding and growing.
The juvenile forage period can be as long as ten years or more. At this point, they begin to grow in size and shape. They cannot mate during this period because they are not yet sexually mature to do so.
Once the juvenile stage is over, the sea turtles return home to the coastal waters. From this point, it becomes easy to track their movement once again. This is because they all forage in the coastal river, growing in size and getting mature.
Once they are back, an average sea turtle has the same size as a dinner plate. The maturity stage comes with a large spread as their reptiles spend this time taking over the large part of the ocean.
Adult life is the climax of the sea turtles. At this level, they have attained full maturity. This includes the ability to mate again and reproduce. The male finds the female and engages in sexual activities. Then, the female swims out of the sea to the bank to lay eggs as usual. A female sea turtle can complete a nesting season cycle 2 – 4 times throughout its existence.
Also, the adult life of a sea turtle begins between 10 – 50 years. This is dependent on the ability of the sea turtle to forage and grow well enough. Some sea turtles can survive up to a century or even more.
Although most of them end up as prey in the hand of fishermen or while migrating from one region to another in search of food.