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Scientific name: Caretta caretta
Common name: Loggerhead Turtle
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Chordata Vertebrata Reptilia Anapsida Testudines Cryptodira Cheloniidae Carettinae Caretta Caretta caretta


Short Description:

The flippers and carapache range from a dull brown to a reddish-brown, and the plastron (underside) is typically pale yellow. The heart-shaped carapace is thick and bony and covered by non-overlapping scutes at the seam lines. Hatchlings vary in color from gray to brown, and lack the adults' distinct yellows and reds. They measure approximately 4.6 cm at birth, and weigh about 18 grams The hatchlings' carapaces have 3 keels while the plastrons have 2.

 Typically, there are 11 or 12 pairs of marginal scutes, 5 pairs of both vertebral and costal scutes, and a nuchal scute that contacts the costals. The carapace is connected to the plastron by 3 pairs of inframarginal scutes that lack pores. The plastron itself features paired gular, humeral, pectoral, abdominal, femoral, and anal scutes. The turtle's neck and sides are brown on the tops and yellow on the sides and bottom.
Size: 1000mm
Behaviour: All sea turtles have similar basic nesting behaviors. Females return to lay their eggs on or near the beach where they hatched. They haul out of the water, climb the beach, excavate a body pit, lay eggs, fill the egg chamber, fill the body pit, and finally return to sea. Clutch size ranges from 70 to 150. Each egg is roughly the size and shape of a ping-pong ball. 
Diet: The loggerhead mainly feeds on bottom dwelling invertebrates, including horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, molluscs, crustaceans, fish, jellyfish, crabs, shrimp, Portuguese Man o' War and other small to medium-sized marine animals, which they crush with their large and powerful jaws. Their powerful jaw muscles allow them to easily crush shellfish.During migration through the open sea, loggerheads eat jellyfishes, floating mollusks, floating egg clusters, squids, and flying fishes
Distribution: Wordwide
Depth: 0-100m 
Habitat: During its lifetime, the loggerhead sea turtle inhabits terrestrial, oceanic, and neritic ecosystems.Upon birth, hatchlings enter the ocean and swim away from land for several days. The "post-hatchlings" then return to find a home in a local downwelling. Downwellings are created when surface waters converge and feature floating material such as seaweed. They may stay there for months, feeding on floating material and occasionally swimming to keep from getting too cold. Eventually, they enter ocean currents farther from shore and move into the oceanic zone where they remain until they become juveniles (between ages 7 and 12). They then move into the neritic zone and remain there until reaching adulthood. The neritic zone is also an important area for adult foraging and inter-nesting habitats
Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Similar Species:
  • None on database

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Johan Swanepoel-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-06-08 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Three Sisters 17 1000mm 14m Olympus FE280 photo video
Johan Swanepoel-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-06-08 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Three Sisters 17 1000mm 14m Olympus FE280 photo
Juan Snyman-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-07-16 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Vital Link 16 1000mm 16m Olympus SP550UZ video
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eastern cape scuba diving