Some sea turtles are one of divers' favorite species ! Cute, clumsy and endearing at the same time, everyone wants to see them underwater !! But what do you know about them ? Despite all the dives I did where I saw turtles every day (the Gili Islands in Indonesia or Roatan in Honduras for example), before doing this little research, there were still a lot of things that I didn't know! Find here cool info on sea turtles.


  1. 7 different species
  2. Male or female at birth?
  3. They return to the beach of their birth
  4. How long underwater?
  5. How long have they been there?
  6. How many eggs does a turtle lay?
  7. What does a turtle eat?
  8. Distinctive sign between male and female?
  9. Are they lonely?
  10. Are they in danger?

infos essentielles sur les tortues

1. How many sea turtles are there?

There are 7 species of sea turtles.

  • Turtle green (green): that (with the nested) that we see most often in tropical environment.Turtle - Green turtle x 2-min.jpg
  • Turtle nested (hawksbill): that (with the green) that we see most often in tropical environment.
  • Turtle Lute (leatherback): the longest and biggest.
  • Turtle loggerhead turtle (loggerhead): the one found in all areas of the world.
  • Turtle Flat back (flatback): one of the least known.
  • Turtle Kemp (kemp's ridley): one of the least known.
  • Turtle Olive (ridley): the smallest.

2. How is the sex of baby turtles determined?

The temperature of their nest determines whether they will become male or female!

  • Greater than 30 ° she becomes female.tortue-nid-min
  • Below 28 ° they become male.
  • Between 28 ° and 30 °: one or the other.
  • This is called "sex determination by temperature dependence (TSD in English: Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination).

3. Why do turtles return to the beach where they were born?

Turtles return to the beach where they were born pto lay their eggs!

  • Every coast and beach has his own magnetic signature. They record this feature and uses it as a point on a GPS!Turtle - Hawksbill 0520-min
  • To come back, they guide themselves through terrestrial magnetic fields, detecting both the angle and intensity of the magnetic field!
  • The youngest turtles also follow the most experienced already accustomed to the road.

4. How long can a turtle stay underwater?

Turtles can hold their breath for several hours!

How long can a turtle hold its breath? 

  • Turtles are reptiles, so they need ofTurtle - Green turtle going up-min return to the surface to breathe.
  • Turtles can hold their breath for 30 minutes to several hours according to their level of activity and the species:
    • Rest mode: 4 to 7h
    • Active mode: about 2-3h
  • In contrast, a stressed turtle (caught in a fisherman's net, caught by a snorkeler ...) is going use your oxygen supply very quickly and can drown in just a few minutes ...

5. When did the turtles date?

Turtles have been watching for over 200 million years!

How long have turtles been on Earth?

  • Oldest turtle fossil found tortue-imbriquee-hawksbill-turtle- gili-island.jpgdate of 220 million years. That of a sea turtle: 150 million years old.
  • They were there before mammals, snakes or crocodiles!


6. How many eggs does a turtle lay?

A turtle lays about 100 eggs but only 1 baby in 1000 will reach adulthood!

  • Adult turtles undergo many threats bebe-tortue-sort-oeuf-mincreated by manbut baby turtles have always had a lot of predators !!
  • To start with their journey from the beach to the water : birds, land animals (foxes ...), poachers ...
  • Then once in water : crabs, sea birds, big pelagics ...

7. What do turtles eat?

Herbivore, omnivore… Each eSpecies of turtles eat different foods!

What food for turtles?

There are carnivores, herbivores, spongivores, omnivores and gelativores!Turtle - Hawksbill & Angelfish x 2-min

  • Green Turtle (green): herbivorous (algae, herbs ...)
  • Nested Turtle (hawksbill): spongivore (sponges, corals ...)
  • Leatherback Turtle (leatherback): gélatinivore (jellyfish and other similar invertebrates ...)
  • Loggerhead turtle (loggerhead): carnivorous (crabs and the like ...)
  • Turtle Flat Back (flatback): carnivorous (crabs, shrimps, lobsters, molluscs ...)
  • Turtle Kemp (Kemp's riddley): omnivorous (sea cucumbers, soft corals, shrimps, crabs ...)
  • Hawthorn turtle (riddley): omnivorous (crabs, shrimps, lobsters, sea urchins, seaweed, fish ...)

8. How do you know if a turtle is male or female?

Once mature, male and female turtles have some distinctive signs.

How to recognize the male and female of a turtle? 

It is difficult to distinguish between males and females before sexual maturity, but we can differentiate them thanks to some distinctive signs:male-female-turtle-plastron

  • The tail of the male is longer than that of the female (see photo).
  • In most species, the male has large curved claws to cling to the female's shell during mating.
  • The the bib of the male is concave while that of the female is flat.
  • The female is bigger than the male at equal age.



9. Are turtles lonely?

Turtles are solitary, they do not interact with each other!

Turtle - Hawksbill x 2-min

  • They are usually lonely travelerseven when they are in the same place, they do not really interact together.
  • When migrating, they tend to travel togetherbut again they do not communicate with each other.

10. Are turtles in danger?

Yes, turtles are in danger!

Despite being there for millions of years, 5 of 7 marine turtle species are ranked "endangered".Turtle - Hawksbill 030-min

  • Destruction of their nesting grounds.
  • Clandestine samples of eggs.
  • Ingestion of plastic bags (or other similar plastic objects) they confuse with their usual prey (jellyfish for example).
  • Trapped in fishing nets.
  • Poaching certain species.
  • Collision with boats.
  • Pollution.

The 7 species of sea turtles:

Green turtle

Turtle - Green turtle + raimora-min

Nested Turtle (hawksbill turtle)


Leatherback turtle


Loggerhead turtle (loggerhead


Flatback turtle (flatback turtle)


Kemp Turtle (Kemp's ridley turtle)


Olivatre turtle (ridley turtle)


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