Sea Turtles are a Great Tourist Attraction For Their Unique Existence In Almost Every Corner Of The Ocean Waters Worldwide. In Kenya South Coast ocean we are lucky to have them.
Types Of Sea Turtles
There are upto seven species of sea turtles namely the green sea turtle, the hawksbill, loggerhead, olive ridley, flatback, kempts ridley and the leather back sea turtles. You will simply identify them by their looks on the scaly heads, scutes on their carapace as well as the plastron. The leatherback however does not have a hard shell but a well arranged bony plates beneath its skin. It is also the largest amongst the turtles.
Habitation And Life Cycle
Sea turtles live in waters most of their lives. After hatching and escaping to the sea the males disappear and are never seen in the shores again. The females return to lay eggs every now and then. It takes several years for a sea turtle to become sexually mature. Once it is ready, they mate in the sea and the female finds its way to the shore to create a nest to lay the eggs. After laying the eggs, she fills the nest with sand to the brim to ensure that no predator realizes of their existence. After two months or so the young turtles dig up the holes after hatching and insecurely find their way to the sea. A female turtle can lay from 50 to 250 eggs. The hatchling takes place during the night as day time is full of predators as they find their way to the ocean.
What Sea Turtles Eat
They feed on many types of plants as well as animals as when they become adults they are omnivorous. The green sea turtle however is carnivorous when young and herbivorous when fully grown. Each type of sea turtle is known to be specific on its food type. Mostly the food include sea grass, jelly fish, algae, soft coral, sea cucumbers, small fishes among other endless list of marine life.
Friends With Barnacles
Sea turtles are known to have an understandable relationship with some barnacles where they grow on turtles without harming them. The best place for the larvae barnacle is usually on the skin around the sea turtles necks. Turtles are best choices for barnacles since they live for many years and they give them ample time to grow without much worries of death.
Human Relationships And Sea Turtle Security
In most places in the world, humans are known to interfere with life cycles of sea turtles as some hunt them for food. Their scales are also targeted for ornamental use especially in China and Japan. Some sea turtles like the green sea turtle feeds on sea grass which is very vital for keeping the sand beaches and dunes strong, well maintained and away from erosion. They are therefore very important for maintenance of the ecosystems. The sea grass also feeds on the nutrients left after the eggs hatch providing a healthy growth. Due to human interference with the clearance of the beaches the sea turtles have become endangered. Also due to the fishing activity that trap some turtles with the nets.
Sea Turtles and Their Ecological Importance in Kenya South Coast
To see more of the turtles in South coast Kenya, make a booking with us for the best encounters ever.