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The sea turtles have seven unique species known to man. These seven species come from six genera, with each having a unique name.
The scientific names of the sea turtles reflect their genus and species. The common name describes some standard features of the turtles.
Sea turtles are more accustomed to living in water, but the different species reside in specific locations. This is one of the unique differences between each one of them. A common feature is the shape of their mouth and jaw. The design of the jaw makes it easy to crush specific types of food. These food types vary from one species to the other.
Some other distinguishing features include swimming and sleeping patterns. Their mating period and method also differ from one species to the other. From these observations above, the different sea turtles species include:
HAWKSBILL (Eretmochelys imbricata)
The hawksbill is one of the sea animal species listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1970. This is due to its gradual disappearance from nature. Since the turtle is a solitary nester, it is quite difficult to estimate its total number across the world. However, some parts of the world still have them in their numbers. Some of these include Yemen, Oman, the Red Sea, Northeastern Australia, and some parts of the US.
Hawksbill has beautiful shells with distinct patterns making them highly sorted after in the shell market. They also have a narrow pointed beak with overlapping scales. Their jaw has a design suitable to feed on sponges, jellyfish, and anemones. An average hawksbill weighs between 90-150 pounds while measuring up to 32 inches.
LOGGERHEAD (Caretta caretta)
Loggerheads are another sea turtle species that appear to be vulnerable. This is linkable to the capture by fishing gears because of their link with fish. They are more common in the Mediterranean, especially around Turkey, Libya, and Greece.
Their jaw has strong muscular support, making it easy to crush on clams and urchins. An average loggerhead weighs 300 pounds and measures as long as 48 inches.
LEATHERBACK (Dermochelys coriacea)
Leatherback sea turtles are distinct because of their shells. They have a leatherback-like shell and are the largest of all the sea turtle species. They are present almost everywhere, but nest more across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
They are also vulnerable because of their eggs and fisheries. Leatherback feeds mainly on jellyfish. They have an average weight of 600 – 1500 pounds and measure about 63 inches in length.
GREEN TURTLE (Chelonia mydas)
Green turtles inherited their names from the color of their cartilages and fat. They are also another large group of herbivorous species that are more numerous in tropical and subtropical waters.
Green turtles also migrate from one region to another, looking for what to feed. In the process of migrating, they get vulnerable due to their egg harvesting. They are also caught in fishing gear.
OLIVE RIDLEY (Lepidochelys olivacea)
Oliva ridley is still the most numerous of all the sea turtles. The name is linkable to the olive green color of the shell. They are also found around the Coral Triangle and the Gulf of California. They measure between 75 – 100 pounds and weigh 24 – 28 inches.
The last two species are the Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and the Flatbacks (Natator depressa). Both are not as common as the first five above. The Flatbacks have waxy skins that can damage easily. They mainly feed on shrimps and are equally vulnerable.
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