Caretta caretta

Habitat: Loggerhead turtles typically are found in shallow coastal waters, bays and lagoons.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be 4 feet across.

Natural history: Sea turtles are reptiles, in a class with snakes, lizards and crocodiles. They are cold-blooded and have a slow metabolic rate. They can easily stay submerged for more than 45 minutes. Sea turtles have a special adaption for diving. In comparison, we use oxygen in all areas of our body. But diving turtles can shut down the oxygen to certain areas of their bodies, keeping as much oxygen as possible for the crucial systems, such as the heart, brain and central nervous system. These turtles are diving experts. The green sea turtle can dive for five hours. Loggerheads have jaws adapted for crushing and grinding. They eat crabs, snails, shrimps and marine plants. They come ashore to build nests for their eggs on the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Many loggerheads are caught and drowned in the nets of shrimp fishermen. Loggerheads migrate to warmer, more tropical waters in the winter months. Adults can weigh 100 to 200 pounds. Sea turtles may easily live to be over 50 years old. All seven species of sea turtles are on the endangered species list. It is illegal to harm any sea turtle. There are fewer than 100,000 adult female loggerhead turtles in the world.

Range: Found in temperate and tropical waters worldwide.

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