If you didn’t love sea turtles before Finding Nemo came out, you probably do now. These magnificent creatures can weigh up to 2,000 lbs, or one ton, as much as a Volkswagon Beetle. This is extra crazy considering how small they start out. It takes between five and ten years for those little turtle babies who surive the beach to start making babies of their own, usually on the exact same beach on which they hatched.
When they do reach reproductive age, the females will lay several hundred eggs in a nesting season. This is a good thing, because an average of 1 in 1,000 marine turtles survive past their first year. That’s sad, to be sure, but it’s about to get sadder.
Almost all species of marine turtle are endangerd, some of them critically so. The thousands of miles they travel in their lives mean they pass through many dangers. You’re not going to be surprised when I say that one of those dangers is being hunted by humans, who not only eat their meat, but raid their nests for eggs.
That’s a little crash course in sea turtles. To learn about a completely different kind of turtle, check out this infographic about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and continue your cryptodira education.