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Critters of the Chesapeake Bay Sea Turtles SEA TURTLES Between 5,000 and 10,000 sea turtles enter the Chesapeake Bay each spring or summer. SEA TURTLES Most of these are loggerheads or Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that are using the bay as a feeding ground. SEA TURTLES

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Critters of the

Chesapeake Bay

Sea Turtles

sea turtles
SEA TURTLES

Between 5,000 and 10,000 sea turtles enter the Chesapeake Bay each spring or summer.

sea turtles3
SEA TURTLES

Most of these are loggerheads or Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that are using the bay as a feeding ground.

sea turtles4
SEA TURTLES

The green and the leatherback sea turtles are also found in Virginia waters and even one stranded hawksbill has been reported.

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SEA TURTLES

Scientists usually recognize seven different species of sea turtles.

Today, we’ll just look at the five found in our area.

loggerhead
Loggerhead

Most of the sea turtles we see in Virginia’s waters are loggerheads.

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Loggerhead

Female loggerheads even nest in Virginia in the less populated beaches like those of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

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Loggerhead

Adult loggerheads can grow to over 100cm and weigh over 300 pounds.

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Loggerhead

Loggerheads feed on jellyfish, crabs, mollusks, sponges, and aquatic plants.

kemp s ridley
Kemp’s Ridley

Kemp’s ridleys are the most endangered of all sea turtles.

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Kemp’s Ridley

Adult ridley’s are 80-120 pounds and up to 75 cm in length.

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Kemp’s Ridley

Their main nesting site is in Mexico where the females lay about 100 eggs.

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Kemp’s Ridley

They live their first years offshore where they eat small animals and plants they find in mats of floating algae.

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Kemp’s Ridley

As adults, they move into shallow coastal areas where crabs become their preferred food.

leatherback
Leatherback

The leatherback is the largest turtle and largest living reptile in the world!

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Leatherback

Adults can be 2 meters long and weigh almost 900kg (2000 pounds).

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Leatherback

It is the only sea turtle that lacks a hard, bony shell or carapace.

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Leatherback

The leatherback has a 4cm thick, leathery, oil saturated connective tissue overlaying loose dermal bones.

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Leatherback

Female leatherbacks lay about 100 eggs on sandy tropical beaches.

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Leatherback

Adult leatherbacks feed on jellyfish and other soft bodied organisms in the open ocean.

green
Green

Green sea turtles are actually farmed in the tropics.

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Green

Green sea turtles are easily distinguished from other sea turtles by the single pair of scales in front of the eyes. Others have two pairs.

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Green

Male green sea turtles can be distinguished from the females by their large tail. This is lacking in the females.

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Green

Adult green turtles weigh 400+ pounds with the record turtle at 871 pounds.

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Green

Green sea turtles

are the only sea turtles that are strictly plant eaters as adults.

hawksbill
Hawksbill

Hawksbill turtles are more common in the tropical sea where sponges are the main part of their diet.

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Hawksbill

This species has extra pressure from humans because of the “tortoiseshell” jewelry industry.

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Hawksbill

The hawksbill is a medium-small turtle with adults weighing 60-190 pounds.

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Hawksbill

This turtle can be distinguished from the others by the hooked beak formed by the yellowish jaws.