Sea Turtles - Chelonioidea
All the oceans on our planet are home to Sea Turtles except for the polar regions. Some species travel between oceans. The flatback Sea Turtle is found solely on the northern coast of Australia.
Sea Turtles are almost always submerged, and have developed an anaerobic system of respiration. Although all Sea Turtles breathe air, under dire circumstances they may divert to anaerobic respiration for long periods of time. When surfacing to breathe, they can quickly refill their lungs with a single explosive exhalation and rapid inhalation. Their large lungs have adapted to permit rapid exchange of oxygen and to avoid trapping gases during deep dives.|
Sea Turtles size varies greatly, depending upon species ó from the small Kempís Ridley, weighing around 100 pounds, to the enormous Leatherback, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
They spend their entire lives at sea, except when adult females come ashore to lay eggs several times per season every 2 to 5 years. They face many dangers as they travel the oceans ó accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear, loss of nesting and feeding sites to coastal development, poaching, and ocean pollution, especially plastic.
The seven living species of Sea Turtles are: Flatback, Green, Hawksbill, Kemp's Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley. All species except the Leatherback are in the family Cheloniidae. The Leatherback belongs to the family Dermochelyidae and is its only member.
Most species of Sea Turtle are endangered. Globally, the Kemp's Ridley, Hawksbill, and Leatherback Sea Turtles are listed as "Critically Endangered", the Loggerhead and Green as "Endangered", the Olive Ridley as "Vulnerable" and the Flatback as "Data Deficient", meaning that its conservation status is unclear due to lack of data.
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