Did you know that early experiments seem to show that sea turtles have the ability to detect magnetic fields.Early experiments seem to show that sea turtles have the ability to detect magnetic fields.
Ancestral background of the sea turtle:
Turtles have existed for around 215 million years. Based on body fossils the first proto-turtles are believed to have existed in the lateTriassic Period of the Mesozoic era, about 220 million years ago. Their shell, which has remained a remarkably stablebody plan, has evolved from bony extensions of their backbones and broad ribs that expanded and grew together to form a complete shell that offeredprotection at every stage of itsevolution; even when the bony component of the shellwas not complete, this is supported by fossils of the freshwater Odontochelys semitestacea or "half-shelled turtle with teeth".
Quick fact: Temperature dictates the sex of baby turtles.
Sea turtles live in almost every ocean basin throughout the world, nesting on tropical and subtropical beaches, the adult females come ashore to lay eggs several times per season every 2 to 5 years.They migrate long distances to feed, often crossing entire oceans. For example some loggerheads nest in Japan and migrate to Baja California Sur, Mexico to forage before returning home again. Leatherbacks are capable of resisting the coldest water temperatures (often below 40˚F) and are found as far south as Chile and as far north as Alaska.
Current habitat needs of the animal:
Specific and unique adaptations that make this species well suited to its natural habitat
Though many adaptations make sea turtles successful in the sea, some also make them slow and vulnerable on land, which means that how their body is formed and how their system works is more adapted to an aquatic existence. Forelimbs are modified into long, paddle like flippers for swimming while the neck and limbs are non-retractile.The shell adaptations necessary for retractile extremities would impede rapid swimming. Leatherbacks, since they are cold-blooded have a slow metabolic rate. This slowed metabolism allows them to stay submerged for long periods of time. Sea turtles have a salt gland to rid their bodies of excess salt, this glandempties into the sea turtles eyes, and makes them look as if they are "crying" when they come ashore, but these "tears" help keepthe eyes free of sand while females dig their nests. Green seaturtles can stay underwater for as long as 5 hours, and their heartrate slows down to conserve oxygen: nine minutes may elapse between heartbeats.
What is happening to the habitat now that is harming this specific species? For example, deforestation or melting ice or…
Coastal development can destroy important nesting sites, impact coral reefs, and artificial light from houses and other buildings has been shown to attract hatchlings away from the ocean, and can also discourage female sea turtles from nesting. Tire ruts left by vehicles can extend the time it takes a hatchling to reach the ocean, which increases their chance of being caught by a predator. In many areas, trash left behind by humans encourages inland animals to search to beaches for food, further increasing sea turtle predators (raccoons, domesticated dogs and cats) who will devour eggs, and even attack nesting turtles. Pollution like plastic bags are often mistaken for food such as jellyfish, and are eventually ingested, which blocks their intestines and potentially kills them.
What are some efforts currently being done to protect the species?
To truly protect sea turtles around the world, many different countries and cultures must cooperate and share responsibility. They have to be dedicated to eliminate disturbances at nesting beaches by decreasing artificial lighting, halting beach armoring, regulating beach nourishment and limiting the impacts of people on the beach. Enforce national and international laws to minimize the dumping of pollutants and solid waste into the ocean and nearshore waters. Continue research and monitoring activities so that the population can be monitored and conservation efforts can be focused where they are most needed.Increase public awareness and community participation in sea turtle conservation through educational programs such as this.