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Loggerhead Sea Turtle Journal


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Loggerhead Sea Turtle    (Caretta caretta)

The loggerhead sea turtle is the world’s largest hard shelled turtle.  Average size for a fully grown adult is approximately 3 feet long weighing about 300 pounds, but larger individuals have been found over 9 feet long weighing over 1000 pounds!  Adult lifespan is typically 50-65 years.  Their formidable size offers some degree of protection from potential predators.  Loggerheads inhabit the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea.  Loggerhead turtles are omnivorous and eat a wider variety of prey than any other sea turtle.  They feed mostly on shellfish that live on the bottom of the ocean but they also eat horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, and other invertebrates. Their powerful jaw muscles help them to easily crush the shellfish.

As with all sea turtles, Loggerheads spend most of their life in the oceans.  Young juveniles drift on mats of seaweed in warm ocean currents, while older juveniles and adults are generally found in coastal waters.  Reproducing females come ashore briefly only to construct nests and lay eggs.  Female sea turtles return to lay eggs about every 2 weeks during the nesting season, remarkably on our near the same beach where they were themselves hatchlings!  Hatchlings emerge at night to try and avoid predators as they head towards the ocean, but they are still eaten by raccoons, crabs, birds, foxes and carnivorous fish.  In the U.S. Loggerhead nesting sites extend from beaches in Florida northwards to Virginia.  Known for their migratory behavior, some loggerhead turtles have been recorded migrating up to 3,000 miles.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles are a threatened species and face many ecological challenges as do all sea turtle species.  They often get caught in fishing gear where they risk serious injury or drowning.    Destruction of nesting sites by coastal development is another major concern.  Many conservation efforts are underway to help sea turtle populations survive.  Let the oceans live!


Artwork by Lisa Baecthle 2017

Text by Steve Sierigk

Additional information

Weight 0.82 lbs
Dimensions 8.50 × 7.25 × 0.50 in
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