Loggerhead Sea Turtle

It’s Sea Tutle Hatching Season!

Watch where you walk on the beaches, it’s hatching season!

Nesting season officially began on Saturday, March 1. In March, leatherback sea turtles are first to lay eggs along Florida’s Atlantic coast, followed by loggerheads and green sea turtles later this spring.

More sea turtles nest in Florida than anywhere else in the United States. Florida’s sea turtle nesting season typically runs through October, though it continued late into the fall last year.

Loggerhead turtles are the most abundant of all the marine turtle species in U.S. waters. But persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, among other factors, have kept this wide-ranging seagoer on the threatened species list since 1978.

Description: Head is very large with heavy strong jaws. Carapace is bony without ridges and has large, non-overlapping, rough scutes (scales) present with 5 lateral scute. Carapace is heart shaped. Front flippers are short and thick with 2 claws, while the rear flippers can have 2 or 3 claws. Carapace is a reddish-brown with a yellowish-brown plastron. Hatchlings have a dark-brown carapace with flippers pale brown on margins.

Size: Typically 2.5 to 3.5 feet in carapace length (80-110 cm).

Weight: Adult weigh between 155 and 375 pounds (70 -0 170 kg).

Diet: Primarily carnivorous and feed mostly on shellfish that live on the bottom of the ocean. They eat horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, and other invertebrates. Their powerful jaw muscles help them to easily crush the shellfish.

Habitat: Prefer to feed in coastal bays and estuaries, as well as in the shallow water along the continental shelves of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Nesting: Nest at intervals of 2 to 4 years. They lay 3 to 6 nests per season, approximately 12 to 14 days apart. Lays average of between 100 to 126 eggs in each nest. Eggs incubate for about 60 days.

Watch Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles Hatch On Florida Keys Webcam!

The webcam is funded by the Florida Keys tourism council. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission approved it.

Photo Credit: Marco Giuliano

Video Credit: Florida Keys Turtlecam: http://www.fla-keys.com/turtlecam