|Copyright: Georg Isbary (oki)
|Date Taken: 2003|
|Camera: sea&sea, Agfa color 100|
|Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2007-01-09 4:41|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|I took this photo (scanned) while snorkeling in the cold sea. The turtle passed me and we examined each other!|
Green Sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are found worldwide throughout warm waters, weigh between one and two hundred pounds (record 330 pounds); females tend to be larger than males. Their hard shell varies in color from black to green to yellow regardless of sex.
They feed primarily on seaweed, and spend large periods of time underwater, "sleeping" on shallow sandy bottoms. Of course they need to come above water to gulp air before diving for a long period. They are able swimmers, and local variety has been found as far as 1500 miles from Galápagos islands.
The nesting behavior can be quite spectacular. There is no pair bonding - a female may mate with several, if not dozens of males, a process which can be exhausting. When she is ready to lay eggs, the female drags herself well above the high tide line, digs a large pit in the loose sand, and lay about 75 eggs at a time. These egg-laying excursions take place up to 8 times during a breeding season, each season separated by a couple of weeks.
The high proportion of eggs for each individual - about 600 to 1 - is necessitated by the low survival rate of eggs, due to climatic and tidal conditions as well as natural predators such as egg beetles, crabs, hawks, mockingbirds and frigatebirds.
Sea turtles are amazing animals...
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