why do sea turtles come out of the water
The sea turtle life cycle starts when a female lays its eggs on a nesting beach, usually in the tropics. From six weeks to two months later (depending on the species), a tiny hatchling makes its way to the surface of the sand and heads to the water, dodging every predator imaginable. From the time the take their first swim until they return to coastal waters to forage as may be as long as a decade. This period of time is often referred to as the "lost years" since following sea turtles movements during this phase is difficult and their whereabouts are often unknown.
Following the "lost years", when they have grown to approximately the size of a dinner plate, their pelagic (open ocean) phase comes to an end and they return to coastal waters where they forage and continue to mature. During this time, these reptiles are highly mobile, foraging over large areas of ocean.
From leatherbacks to loggerheads, six of the seven species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered at the hand of humans.
Sadly, the fact is that they face many dangers as they travel the seas в including accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear (also known as bycatch), the loss of nesting and feeding sites to coastal development, poaching, and ocean pollution including plastic. These creatures are well-adapted to the ocean though they require air to survive. Their size varies greatly, depending upon species в from the small Kempвs ridley, which weighs between 80в100 pounds, to the enormous leatherback, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Sea turtles live in almost every ocean basin throughout the world, nesting on tropical and subtropical beaches. They migrate long distances to feed, often crossing entire oceans. Some loggerheads nest in Japan and migrate to Baja California Sur, Mexico to forage before returning home again. Leatherbacks are capable of withstanding the coldest water temperatures (often below 40ЛF) and are found as far south as Chile and as far north as Alaska.
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