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Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. Photo by Caitlin Faulkner shot from aboard Royal Hawaiian Catamaran

Hawaiian Sea Turtles
Hawaii Green Sea Turtles
Facts about Green Sea Turtles
Snorkeling with Green Sea Turtles


Select Facts About Sea Turtles

Hawaii Sea Turtles

Snorkeling with Hawaiian
Green Sea Turtles


Green Sea Turtles

Hawksbill Sea Turtles

Leatherback Sea Turtles

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle History

Sea Turtle Protection

Threats Currently Facing
Sea Turtles


Sea Turtles
References and Links


Sea Turtle History

Measuring 15 feet from head to tail, 16.5 feet across from flipper to flipper and weighing in at more than 4,500 pounds, with a seven foot shell, the largest known specimen of sea turtle, Archelon ischyros, was discovered in South Dakota in the mid 1970’s. Living along side dinosaurs, some 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, the largest sea turtle ever discovered was a carnivore (meat-eater). It is thought to be an ancient relative of the modern day leather back turtle.

I certainly wouldn’t want to go swimming with that turtle. Would you?

Sea turtles have been on the earth an estimated 200 million years, first appearing during the Triassic period, 50 million years before dinosaurs. With the exception of the leatherback sea turtles, that look the same as they did 20 million years ago, the other modern species of sea turtle are estimated to be between 2 to 6 million years old. Modern sea turtles are about half the size of their ancient relatives.

Christopher Columbus found so many sea turtles in 1503 during his voyages to the Caribbean he named three different islands; “Las Tortugas” (The Turtles). Found in great numbers throughout the tropical oceans, sea turtles were a primary food source for both ancient Polynesians and European explorers.

Sea Turtle Protection

Of the seven species of sea turtles, six are found in U.S. waters: Green Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Kemp's Ridley Turtles, Leatherback Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, and Olive Ridley Turtles. All Six species of sea turtles occurring in the U.S. are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Hawkbill and Leatherback are listed as endangered. The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, a distinct population of Green Sea Turtles, is listed as "threatened." This means that the species is likely to be in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the foreseeable future. The Olive Ridley Turtles are listed as endangered in Mexico and threatened elsewhere. Loggerhead turtles are listed as threatened.

NEXT PAGE - Threats to Sea Turtles References and Links

 

 
 

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