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They’re the dinosaurs of the ocean & 9 other things you didn’t know about marine turtles

The entire east coast of the Dominican Republic is a haven for many marine species, especially turtles.

And between March and November is the turtle nesting season in the Dominican Republic – which means that at this very moment, on many beaches in the country; Hawksbill, Green, and Leatherback Turtles are laying their eggs – some of them even right here in Minitas Beach and at nearby Saona Island!

And due to the sad fact that almost all species of sea turtles are endangered here in the Dominican Republic, this is the perfect time to make us aware about these amazing creatures.

10 interesting facts about sea turtles

1. They are dinosaurs (sort of)

Sea turtles are very old organisms. They have been on the Earth for more than 220 million years. They even managed to survive weather changes/meteorite which killed the dinosaurs. [FYI: The jury’s still out on what actually killed the dinosaurs, we all thought it was a metorite but more recent studies suggest it was climate change…]

2. They die ;(

It is estimated that only one hatchling in a thousand make it to adulthood (15-25 yrs).

3. But if they survive to adulthood they live a very long time.

They can live to be over 100 years old.

4. They are vulnerable

Unlike land turtles, sea turtles can’t hide their heads and legs inside the shell. That makes them more vulnerable when they come in contact with predators. Fortunately adult sea turtles have a few predators, mostly large sharks. Tiger sharks, in particular, are known for eating sea turtles.

5. They love the ocean

Sea turtles spend most of their life in the ocean. Females can be seen on the beaches only during nesting season.

6. They return to the beach they were born to lay their eggs

During nesting season female will return back to the same beach where she was born. She will find the right beach even after 30 years of absence.

7. Cold for a boy, hot for a girl

Temperature determines the gender of the baby turtles. Female will be born if the temperature of the egg is high and male if the temperature of the egg is low.

8. They hatch at night and use the moonlight for guidance

Young turtles hatch during night and they use moonlight to find their way to the sea.

9. They are slower than land turtles

Sea turtles walk slowly on the ground because their flippers are adapted for swimming and not walking.

10. They are long distance champions!

They are excellent swimmers that can travel large distances. Leatherback turtle can travel 12.000 miles.

Source: Casa de campo Living

April 22, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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