ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Every year millions of sea turtles make nests along Florida's shoreline. They're an integral part of, not only our coastal ecosystem but also our culture.
So, to show some love to our favorite slow-moving friends we thought we'd dig up five fun facts to know about sea turtles.
1. THERE ARE 7 SPECIES OF SEA TURTLES- Most people know of green sea turtles, but there are actually seven different species in both warm and cold water: green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, olive ridley, and flatback (which only live in Australia).
2. TURTLES ARE WHAT THEY EAT- Green sea turtles are herbivores, they eat mostly seagrasses and algae. NOAA says their plant-based diet is what gives them a green color.
3. A GROUP OF EGGS IS A CLUTCH- Sea turtles lay multiple nests a year and can lay anywhere from usually 100-125 eggs per nest. A group of sea turtle eggs is called a clutch. They take about two months to hatch and then a few days to dig their way out of the sand.
4. SAND TEMPERATURE DETERMINES THE TURTLE SEX- Sand does more than just protect sea turtle eggs it actually determines the sex of the turtle. Cooler sand will incubate male turtles, while warmer sand will result in female turtles.
5. SEA TURTLES CAN'T HIDE IN THEIR SHELLS- Unlike turtles on land sea turtles can't retreat back into their shells. Their flippers make them very agile swimmers but they don't fit in their shells.
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