Graphic drawn by Michele Takahashi and digitally colored by BridgitteMcInerny and Lena Sullivan.
Did you know that every year each female sea turtle lays about200 eggs at a time.
Would you like to know how a old Green sea turtle could live up to?
Well, currently there is not an adequate method of aging sea turtles. The most acceptedmethod, aside from observing the turtle from the time it hatches, is to study growthrings of scales on the caraspace and plastron. Scientists count the rings and usea mathmatical formula to estimate a turtles age.
Sea turtles also have enemies. Adult Sea turtles have few predators, mostly largesharks. Tiger sharks in particular, are known for eating sea turtles. Killer whaleshave been known to prey on Leatherback turtles. Fishes, dogs, sea birds, and otherpredators prey on the eggs and hatchlings. More than 90% of hatchlings are eatenby these predators.
Scientists believe that turtles live longer than any other back boned animal. SomeBow turtles and tortises have lived more than 100 years. The turtle continues togrow after reaching this age, but at a much slower rate. The Arcelon, a Sea turtleof about 3.7 meters long died out as did many other species.
Did you Know that Sea turtles (all of which swim rapidly) rank as the fastest turtles.One of these species, the Green sea turtle can swim for brief periods at the rateof 20 miles (kilometers) per hour. On land many turtles are slow lumbering creatures,but some land turtles can move with surprising speed.
The hatchlings of the female Green sea turtles also have their own enemies. Fishes,dogs, sea birds, raccoons, and other predetors prey on the eggs and hatchlings ofthe female Green sea turtles. 90% of the hatchlings are eaten by these predators.A normal Sea turtle lays about 200 eggs, so only about 20 eggs would live out ofthe 200 eggs that are layed.
Some people want to know how the Green Sea turtles eggs get hatched. Well this ishow: Among most species, the female digs a hole, the sand warms their eggs by itsheat. Another way the eggs get hatched is by the sun's powerful hot beams.
There are at least 7 species of the sea turtles they are: the Green Sea turtle, theFlat- back Sea turtle, the Logger head Sea turtle, the haksbill Sea turtle, the AtlanticRidly Sea turtle, and the Pacific Ridly Sea turtle, Zoologists have found that those6 species live as one family. And the sevemth specie, the (Leatherback Sea turtle)lives as its own family. But two of those species are very close to extinction, theyare the Green Sea turtle and the Ridley.
Most kinds of turtles like to eat both animals and plants. A few kinds of turtles,including Green Sea Turtles and tortoises, feed almost entirely on plants.
Sea turtles usually live in salt water in the warm seas throughout the world. Manysea turtles nest on this beach: Gahiramatha in India. More sea turtles nest on thisbeach than any other beach in the world.
THE CORAL REEFS
What are the dangers to coral reefs?
There are natural as well as human causes to the destruction of ourcoral reefs. Anchors from passing boats sometimes drag the bottom of the reef andkill the reef. Probably the greatest threat to coral reefs is coastline development.Runoff of soil caused by heavy rains, off shore and shipboard oil spills and openocean dumping of trash and litter may destroy large areas of the reef forever. Someother dangers to the coral are storms because waves get big and the force of thewaves can crack the coral reef.
What types of corals are there?
There are many types of corals. Some are hard and some are soft corals.Here are some types of corals: brain coral, star coral, starlet coral, lettuce coral,finger coral, rose coral, sea fans, plate coral, stinging coral,stony coral, daisycoral, bush coral, flower coral, needle coral, leather coral, glassy tree coral andfire coral. The names were given because of the similar appearance of the differenttypes of corals.
The difference between hard coral and soft coral is that soft corals are usuallyvery colorful and hard corals are usually white, taking their color from their limestoneskeleton. Hard corals also produce an outer skeleton of calcium carbonate. Soft coralshave a skeleton of horney tubes, spikes and rods. These are buried inside the animal’sbody.
How does coral grow?
Coral reefs usually grow in the warm tropics. Coral cannot grow intemperatures less than 65 degrees F. Coral reefs need light to grow, and can growin waters lower than 100 ft deep. Calcareous algae help the coral reef to grow, likestony coral. These plants produce calcium carbonate, and it helps the reef stay together.These stony corals help to form coral reefs.
What types of coral grow in Kaneohe Bay?
There are three types of reefs in Kaneohe Bay. They are the fringing reefs that growon the rocky shores of the Bay, the patch reefs that are round and irregular andfound in the lagoon area, and the barrier reef that extends across the mouth of theBay.
HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS
Monk seals got their name from their bald look, singular habits,and a fold of skin behind their heads that resembles a “monk’s hood”.
Monk Seals have a scientific name which is “monachus schuinslandi”. Monachus is Greekfor “monk”. The second word in it’s scientific name which comes from Dr. Hugo Schuinslandi.He got a skull of a seal and scientifically used it to describe the Monk Seal in1905.
Hawaiian Name: Ilio holo i ka uaua or
Quadruped that runs in the rough (seas)
There were once three types of monk seals in the world. Today there are only two.The names of the three monk seals are the Hawaiian Monk Seal, the Carribean MonkSeal and the Mediterranian Monk Seal. Last seen in 1952, the Caribean Monk Seal isconsidered extinct. If it weren’t for their geographical separation, Caribbean MonkSeals and the Hawaiian Monk Seals would be charted as the same species.
Some seals make noise in their sleep. Their mouths may be closed, but a rythmic thumpingof baritone notes can be heard. These noises sound more like a kid playing a tubathan a seal! It makes one wonder what kind of dreams a seal has to make such a sound!
Baby Monk Seals are called “pups”. Every two years, between March and July, femaleMonk Seals come on shore to give birth to one black pup. Pups average three feetin size and weighing thirty pounds at birth. They range 150 - 200 pounds just beforeweaning.
In 1981 a tagging program was started to monitor the Monk Seal . This system helpsto track where the seals go. The tags are coded with letters and numbers. Some arecoded with colors which would make it “color coded”. There is a color for each colorand atoll. Sometimes tags get lost or ripped off in battle. These are made of plastic.
Today, Monk Seals are dying out at an alarming rate. No one knows why. Only a fewpups survive to adulthood. And some do not even get born. The population of the HawaiianMonk Seals has dropped more than half: from 900 in 1989 to 400 today. If we don’ttake care of our Hawaiian Monk Seals, maybe they’ll end up like our Caribbean Monk Seals and become extinct, too.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal is very endangered. They make their homes on the sandy beachesof Hawaii’s coral reefs (usually on the smallest lands and atolls placed northwestof Kaua’i) called the North.
Hawaiian Monk Seal’s diet includes reef fish, lobster,octopus,eels and other marineanimals. When attempting to capture food, they have been diving up to 400 feet!
The following list threaten our Hawaiian Monk Seals and affect the recovery of MonkSeal populations: disturbance by human activities (oil spills, dumping of rubbish,pollution, harassment, etc.), interactions with fisheries and shark predation.
Our goal is save the Hawaiian Monk Seal from extinction. This can be done ifwe maintain the habitat requirements of the Hawaiian Monk Seal, monitor its populationtrends and educate the public by developing awareness and sensitivity to their problemsthrough special programs using multi-media such as television shows, posters, featurestories and articles contests, etc. The education of the public is critical. Peopleneed to know the problems this species is facing, and that we are the key to theirsurvival. The Hawaiian Monk Seal cannot be saved if no one knows about the problemsthat they have, and if no one cares.
1. Burgess,Robert, Exploring A Coral Reef , New York: Macmillan Company, 1972.
2. Johnson Sylvia, Coral Reefs, Minneapolis, Lerner Publication, 1984.
3. Tayntor,Elizabeth, Dive To The Coral Reefs, New York, Crown Publishers,1986.
4. Zim, Herbert , Seashores, New York, Golden Press,1955.
5. Kaneohe Bay Masters Plan, Honolulu, State of Hawaii, Office of State Planning,1992.
6. “Turtles”, World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 19, 1994.
7. “Longevity and Causes of Death,” Sea World:
http: www.bev.net:/education/Sea World/Sea_ turtle/stlongevity.html
8. Ackerman, Diane, Monk Seal Hideaway, New York, Crown Publishers, p. 31,1995.
“ I Thank”
Ambrose,Greg. Honolulu Star Bulletin: Ecological Alarm: Monk Seals Dying Out):January 1998
Ching ,Patrick. (Hawaiian Monk Seal). Published By: Hawaii University of
Planet Kauai email@example.com June 11 1997