10 Cool Facts About Sea Turtles
Scuba diving in Bali is one of the most fantastic outdoor activities you can ever indulge in, regardless of whether you are a professional scuba diver or a first-timer. The diversity of marine life in this part of the world is unmatched across the globe. One of the best encounters you can have in most dive sites in Bali is for sure the one with sea turtles. Marine turtles are peculiarly large reptiles, with the smallest species weighing around 30 Kg and the largest weighing up to 900 Kg. More than 99 percent of hatchling turtles, unfortunately, never make it to adulthood due to numerous natural and man-made life threats. There are hundreds of facts about these animals that you may never have heard about, please read on to discover 10 of the most interesting facts about this animal.
Sea Turtles Facts
There are 7 species of sea turtles. The species include Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Flatback, and Kemp’s Ridley. The most common species you might encounter when diving in Bali are the green turtles and hawksbill turtles. It is possible to see them in all the most popular diving area of Bali such as Nusa Penida, Tulamben and Padangbai.
Breeding starts at 25. Because most species are solitary animals who only meet during mating seasons, female sea turtles do not breed until after their 25th birthday. Some reach sexual maturity at 50 years.
Their memory is impeccable. Mature female sea turtles will always go back to the same beach where they hatched to nest for their offspring. That’s despite being away for 25-50 years.
Female hatchlings hatch faster than males. This is because female babies hatch from eggs that are warmly kept while the males hatch from cooler eggs. Warm eggs (mostly those in the center) hatch females after about 45 days while the cold ones at the top hatch males almost a month later.
Turtles are omnivorous. Green turtles start with an herbivorous diet only and then gradually shift to a purely carnivorous diet as they mature. All the rest are opportunistic omnivorous feeders who feed on shrimps, vegetation, tunicates, and jellyfish, among others.
Turtles cannot breathe underwater. Their flippers limit their movement on land while their inability to retreat in their shell leaves them vulnerable to predators. But they must get out of the water in order to breathe. How do they balance this? These animals have the ability to limit their heartbeats to only six per hour thus staying underwater for up to 5 hours without breathing.
They are long-distance swimmers. Turtles mostly relocate to warmer habitats during cold seasons, while the females go back “home” to breed regardless of how far away they had migrated prior to the nesting season. Leatherback turtle, in particular, can swim for up to 1,200 miles within a year. Their ability to connect with the Earth’s magnetic field and use it as their natural compass comes in handy during these migrations.
Males are never late for the mating season. Even though they are solitary beings, males are so responsible at their mating duty that they start arriving at the mating areas months before their ladies arrive. Sometimes males fight each other for courtship and mating opportunities. After the season, they leave early to allow the females space to nest.
Nesting is a very private affair. If a female crawls out of the sea and finds people or lights along the beach, she immediately crawls back without Nesting. If she is disturbed when laying eggs, she aborts that mission immediately and crawls to safety. The most interesting thing, however, is that they cry all through the nesting process.
Hatchlings never get to meet their parents. After burying her eggs in the sand, mama sea turtles disappear leaving her future babies to struggle on their own. Hatchlings liberate themselves from the egg shells and later from the nest, crawl their way to the sea, and then survive on their own until they are mature enough to come back ashore to mate.
Sea turtles are mysterious to many people and that makes them adorable and a must-see; you cannot afford to miss your chance to see these amazing creature while scuba diving or snorkeling in Bali. Do you need help in planning and actualizing your once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the world’s most exquisite underwater life? At La Manta Diving Bali, we are ready and happy to give you diving trips and dive courses at a very affordable price. Please contact us today for some amazing diving adventures.