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Turtle and Tortoise Printouts EnchantedLearning.com
Sea Turtles
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Sea Turtles are large turtles that spend most of their lives in the seas. They live in shallow coastal waters of warm and temperate seas. There are many types of sea turtles, including the Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the Flatback (Natator depressa), and many others. All Sea Turtle species are considered endangered or threatened.

Anatomy: These cold-blooded animals are strong swimmers and good divers. They have four flipper-like legs and a shell that is attached to their backbone. They cannot pull their head and legs into the shell. These turtles vary in color from shades of brown to green to black. Sea turtles vary in size from 2 to 6 feet (0.5 to 1.9 m) long, weighing 78 to 1900 pounds (35 to 870 kg). During active times, turtles must go to the sea's surface every few minutes in order to breathe air.

Diet: Most sea turtles are carnivores (meat eaters), but the green turtle is an herbovore (a plant eater that eats sea grass and algae). Most sea turtles eat crustaceans (crabs, lobster, shrimp, and other shelled invertebrates), shellfish, jellyfish, Man-of-War, and small fish.

Reproduction: Adult female Sea Turtles return to the beach where they were born to lay up to 200 soft-shelled eggs in the sand. When the baby turtles hatch, they immediately head for the nearby water. Many young turtles are eaten by birds and other predators during this difficult trip. It has been estimated that only 1% of these hatchlings will reach adulthood. No one knows how the females find the beach where they were born.



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