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Sea turtle

A baby Loggerhead sea turtle
Sea turtles are large, ocean-dwelling turtles. There are seven species of sea turtle, and they are all endangered:

  • loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

  • green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
  • Australian flatback turtle (Chelonia depressa)

  • hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

  • leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

  • olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
  • Kemp's ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

Female sea turtles return to the land on as many as seven nights each year to lay their eggs on moist sandy beaches. They dig a hole with their hind flippers and lay up to 120 eggs in it, before covering it up and returning to the ocean. In the case of the leatherback, some of the eggs are unfertilised 'dummy eggs'and the rest contain young turtles. When the eggs hatch, these baby turtles dig their way out and seek the ocean. Only a very small proportion of them (1 in 100) will be successful, as many predators are waiting to eat them.

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