Turtle Adventure in the Big Blue By Ellie

Introduction

A giant turtle swims gracefully in the water. Suddenly she bolts down into the water. When she comes back up she has caught a minnow. Then the waves start to turn. A fishing boat has come by suddenly the turtle gets caught in the motor and dies. Have you ever considered reading an article on turtles? Well now you can! I think that turtles are amazing and so should you! Turtles can do amazing things like travel over 20 miles per hour! Now get ready and get prepared because in the fantastic article you are going to read turtle history, anatomy, about their babies, and how they are sadly endangered.

Turtle History Part 1

About 200 million years ago sea turtles shared the earth with the dinosaurs. But the largest sea turtle of them all was the Archelon. The Archelon lived about 70 million years ago. The Archelon was about 15 ft long or as big as a car! Some scientists actually believed that the Archelon weighed as much as 45000 pounds! If you ever wanted to see the fossil of the Archelon you would want to go to South Dakota.

Archelon fossil

Turtle History Part 2

One of the oldest known sea turtles was the Proganochelys. (pro-gan-O-ch-ellie's) So the Proganochelys was a small turtle that grew 2 ft long. Did you know that the Proganochelys had spikes on it’s neck and tail for protection? As all turtles the Proganochelys had a shell but no teeth. If you ever wanted to see the fossil of the Proganochelys go to Germany or Thailand.

Proganochelys

Fun Fact

Turtles front flippers help it steer turtles back flippers help it move quickly through the water

Turtle Anatomy

The body parts of a turtle are simple. The carapace (the top of the shell) is connected to the backbone and ribs. The carapace is covered with a protective layer of scutes. Scutes are the little pieces on a turtle's shell. See picture 1 to know more about scutes. Now the scaly skin on a turtle can help so there skin doesn't dry out on land. Many turtles live in warm tropical oceans. Others can survive in colder temperatures in the south.

Picture 1.

Fun Fact

Some scientist believe that turtles have an internal compass

Turtle Endangerment

Sadly it’s true that turtles are endangered. Unfortunately the survival rate has dropped dramatically. Each nest has a survival rate of 1-5%, which means they have little chance to survive. Each nest has a really good chance of dyeing by birds, crabs, and wild dogs or foxes. Sadly the only thing saving them is the Save Our Sea Turtles (S.O.S.) and turtle hospitals.

Turtle in a Hospital

Fun Fact

The only sea turtle without a hard shell is the Leatherback sea turtle

Turtles and their babies

There’s a lot of things to know about turtles and their babies. First of all March and July are the times for turtles to go ashore to make nests. Females go to the spot they were born to lay eggs. Instinct draws them back. Turtles make 10 nests a season, and can lay 85-200 eggs per nest. The females preserve the nests by digging it deep and making decoy nests. At about 2 months old the babies use a special egg tooth to break out of their shells. About 1-5% of the baby turtles survive. So it helps to have a lot of siblings. Before baby turtles are born they can sense the light, so when they break out of their shells they know where to go because they know where the light is and they go to it. Escaping the sand takes 3.7-7.8 days. When they escape the sand they come out of their nest at night or on cloudy days. Be warned city lights may confuse the baby turtles because the babies may go to the city instead of the ocean.

If you want to learn more about turtles and their babies click on the button below

This is a timeline of when turtles go to shore to make nest
Turtles and their siblings

Turtles Turtles and MORE Turtles!

Thank You For Reading!!

Credits:

Created with images by geopungo - "Crossing turtle" • Pexels - "carapace marine turtle ocean" • subarcticmike - "Super Arky" • jurvetson - "Just Breathe" • Charleston's TheDigitel - "IMGP5571" • shundralmoore - "sea turtles turtles water"

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