The ocean is full of many amazing and mysterious marine life. One of these beautiful creatures is the sea turtle. It gets much bigger than land turtles and possesses very large flippers that make it better than even the fastest Olympian swimmer at speeding through the water.
Sea turtles fleeing to the ocean
The sea turtle has been around at least as early as 200 million years ago. They once shared the same planet as the dinosaurs and even survived the extinction event that destroyed them. Even though they evolved to live in the ocean unlike their dry land counterparts, they still maintain many of the same features and characteristics. The sea turtle only leaves the ocean during breeding season to lay their many eggs on the beach. Then they crawl back into the ocean and leave the babies to hatch out on their own. Then they crawl into the ocean and only return when it’s time for them to lay eggs as well, thus completing the cycle.
A magnificent birth
As the first rays of morning sun shine down on the beach, hundreds of baby turtles break out of their shells. Their first test at life is crawling from the beach to the ocean. It seems like an easy enough task but these baby turtles are out in the open and the beach is full of predators. The turtles can’t move very fast on land and the ocean is far away for a body that size to try and reach. On the way they could be scooped up into the mouth of a sea bird or dragged back to the nest of a large lizard or crab, thus ending their short lives before they could begin. On average, only one to two out of every 100 sea turtle babies make it. The ones who do live finally haul their exhausted body into the apparent safety of the water where the real trial starts.
The crisis in the ocean
Reaching the sea probably looks like the end of the sea turtles struggle. That is a sadly wrong misconception. The first thing they need to do upon hitting the water is to try and find a safe resting place to grow strong. They have to do this while avoiding large sea creatures who will see them as prey, human nets, even jellyfish entanglement. They must learn to hunt for themselves and are expected to be fully capable of handling their own care straight out of the egg. No one teaches them.
When winter hits, if the turtles have survived that far, they must begin their migration. They, and many other types of sea life avoid the drop in temperatures by traveling to warmer seas. Those who take too long or linger face the very real threat of freezing to death.
After surviving so much hardship, the turtles who reach adulthood are strong and smart. This animals amazing fortitude and determination to live are a large part of how sea turtles still manages to grace our oceans, even with the odds stacked against them.
Born to face life and death, this is the difficult life of the sea turtle.
SAVE THE TURTLES!
How can you help? Firstly, don’t buy turtle eggs or products made from tortoiseshell.
Secondly, you can help raise awareness.
Then, when you wear your turtle pendant, let it be a conversation starter and tell others about the plight facing sea turtles around the world and how they can help.