Sea turtles are one of the most loved creatures of the water and for a good reason. They seem humble and laid back, allowing the currents of the water to let them float along at a pace that best suits them. That really helps them to travel without expending a lot of energy and they travel a lot. Some sea turtles can actually travel more than 10,000 miles per year.
1. They’re Old… Very Old
There have been a number of sea turtles that have been found in the Earth’s fossil record. Some of the oldest fossils that have been found date back for about 150 million years. In comparison, dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago. For all those dinosaurs that may have tried to eat a sea turtle back in the day, the last laugh belongs to the turtle.
2. They Always Come Home
Where a sea turtle hatches is the place that the turtle will call home. Sea turtles that come back to the beach to lay their eggs will return to the same nesting spot where they were born. This makes the life of a sea turtle rather predictable, but that’s not a bad thing. Because of this habit, we can know a lot about these fascinating creatures.
3. Big Lung Capacity Is Proven
Although sea turtles may weigh over 1 ton, they have an extreme lung capacity that lets them stay under the water for a long time. Turtles can hold their breath for up to 5 hours sometimes, which is pretty remarkable considering the average feeding dive for a sea turtle lasts for just 5 minutes.
4. Most Turtles Don’t Make It
When the mother sea turtle comes up onto the beach, she’ll end up laying about 150 eggs that look like ping-pong balls over a 2 to 3 year period. The problem is that when the turtles hatch, there can be a number of predators that are just waiting for them to try to make it to the water. Safety is guaranteed in the water either with the number of predators that exist. In total, about 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings becomes an adult turtle.
5. Turtles Can Cry
The unique design of the turtle’s body make it appear like they are crying. We associate crying with emotions of sadness, grief, or joy, but for the turtle, it is how they sweat. In spending a life out at sea, there is a lot of salt exposure for the turtle. The glands in their eyes help to remove the salt that they don’t need to survive, much like sweat through human skin.
6. Temperature Determines Gender
The amount of heat that exists for the eggs will help to determine what the gender of the turtle will be. Warmer temperatures tend to result in female sea turtles and colder temperatures tend to bring about more male turtles. Those male turtles, once they reach the water, typically never return to the beach. If they do, it is quite rare indeed.