Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Coretta Coretta)
The Loggerhead sea turtle is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 35 inches long when fully grown, but have been found up to 110 inches. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 300 lb, with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 1,000 lb. The skin ranges from yellow to brown in color, and the shell is typically reddish-brown. No external differences in gender are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons than the females
The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then produce no eggs for two to three years. The loggerhead reaches maturity within 17â€“33 years and has a lifespan of 47â€“67 years.
The loggerhead sea turtles are omnivores, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Its large and powerful jaws serve as an effective tool for dismantling its prey. Young loggerheads are exploited by numerous predators; the eggs are especially vulnerable to terrestrial organisms. Once the turtles reach adulthood, their formidable size limits predation to large marine animals, such as sharks.
Loggerheads are considered an endangered species and are protected by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Untended fishing gear is responsible for many loggerhead deaths. Turtles may also suffocate if they are trapped in fishing trawls. Turtle excluding devices have been implemented in efforts to reduce mortality by providing an escape route for the turtles. Loss of suitable nesting beaches and the introduction of exotic predators have also taken a toll on loggerhead populations. Efforts to restore their numbers will require international cooperation, since the turtles roam vast areas of ocean and critical nesting beaches are scattered across several countries.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia.org/wiki/loggerhead_sea_turtle
Photo courtesy of worldoceanobservatory.com