Sea turtles can be found in just about all of the world's oceans and have become one of the most beloved sea creatures of all times. Sea turtles are found in all of the oceans except for the Arctic Ocean. Currently, there are seven different species of sea turtles that have been identified including the flatback sea turtles, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, and olive ridley sea turtles.
Sea Turtles in Black
There was once thought to be one more species that was found in the East Pacific that were known as black sea turtles, but DNA studies suggest that the species is not distinct from the green sea turtles. All sea turtles except for the leather back sea turtles belong to the family Cheloniidae while the leatherback is the only member of the family Dermochelyidae.
Sea Turtles Here for Millions of Years
SIt is known that the sea turtles have been occupying our oceans for millions of years, yet over time the basic anatomy of sea turtles has stayed the same. All sea turtles have flattened bodies, two hind legs, and paddle like front arms. Sea turtles are notable because they are one of the only known reptiles that have a hard shell. The sea turtles have a shell that is made of bone that is then covered by scales that work to protect the majority of the sea turtles body. While the head, legs, and tail are not protected by the shell, sea turtles do have the ability to pull their head into their shell when they feel threatened.
Sea Turtles Defense
A few species of sea turtles can also pull their tail and their legs into their shell when threatened. There is only one species of sea turtles that does not have a hard shell and this is the leatherback turtle. These sea turtles have a puzzle of bony plates that are located under a very leathery skin, which is how the leatherback sea turtles got their name.
Sea Turtles Locomotion
Sea turtles are interesting because they have very highly evolved flippers to help them propel through the water. In addition to being able to propel themselves through the water, the sea turtles use their flippers to climb up steep, rocky shores and can use their flippers to evade all sorts of different predators of the sea turtles. While sea turtles all have the same basic anatomy, there are some things that set some species of sea turtles apart from other sea turtles. For example, some sea turtles have prefrontal scales on the head, a differing number of scutes on the carapace, and the type of inframarginal scutes that appear on the pastron.
Sea Turtles Size
Leatherback sea turtles are the largest species of sea turtles. The leatherback sea turtles are usually six or seven feet in length when mature, three to five feet wide, and they weigh up to 1300 pounds! Other species of sea turtles are much smaller, with most of the sea turtles ranging from two to four feet in length and one to three feet in width.