|Scientists recognize eight types of Sea Turtles; all of them are threatened or endangered with their future still in question. You can identify them by the pattern on their shells. They can grow from 53 cm (21 inches) up to 1.9 m (6 feet). You can usually find Sea Turtles in tropical and temperate seas around the world. The adults are usually in shallow and coastal waters. Some Sea Turtles migrate great distances from feeding areas to their nesting grounds. Most Sea turtles have long, paddle like flippers. They are very strong swimmers. They can make their heart beat ounce every 9 minutes to conserve oxygen. Their diets are very different depending on what kind of turtles they are. Generally, Sea Turtles don't come out onto the land except when the females come out to lay their eggs, which they lay on the same beaches every year. They can lay 50-200 eggs the size of Ping-Pong balls, which will usually hatch after 45-70 days. After they hatch, they go into the sea not know their parents.|
Canada's largest freshwater turtle (the Snapping Turtle) can have a shell up to 45 cm weighing no more than 15kg. It seems a lot larger with its long tail, muscular legs, massive head and serpentine neck. While in the water, they can just quietly slip away from any disturbance. You can usually locate these turtles in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams usually found from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. They eat a variety of aquatic plants and animals including fish, frogs, birds and more small mammals. Their round Ping-Pong shaped eggs usually hatch in September or early October.
Spiny Softshell Turtle
This turtle has a flat, almost circular pancake looking upper shell, which is often covered by leathery skin rather than the large horny scutes that most turtles have. A fairly large female can have a shell measuring up to 43 cm. They are often found in Ontario, southwestern Quebec, Lake Erie, Ottawa, St. Lawrence and in the Richelieu Rivers, which are all located in Canada. These very aquatic turtle's prefer sandy and muddy areas and they lie with their nostrils out of the water. Their diet includes crayfish, aquatic insects and fish. These very harmful species with their razor sharp jaw edges are rarely seen.
The Green Turtle has been an important source of food to local human population and sea voyages. They were once common in warm waters but have been scarce in areas where it is commercially exploited. However, they are still found in Hawaii but rarely nests in North America. The females lay their eggs at the same beaches and in large groups. There are major nesting sites in the Galapagos Islands and on Ascension Island. Malaya, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines and Indonesia maintain protected hatcheries and regulate the harvest of the species. 58 countries are helping to protect the green turtle by joining an international convention controlling the import, export and use of endangered species. People make turtle soup, turtle oil and turtle skin (for shoe leather). By making these things, it has encouraged a continuing illegal trade.
This Atlantic turtle can usually be found off Canada's Eastern coast. These turtles can get a shell up to almost 3m weighing up to 454kg but they usually weigh about 136kg. They spend most of their floating on the surface of the open sea water. They feed on sponges, jellyfish, shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels and a variety of fish. They nest in temperate waters and is done on beaches at night. Their eggs are round, white and leathery which can be laid in a clutch up to 126 and take around 68 days to hatch.
The Leatherback turtle
is largest turtle living, with a length of 2.1m and can weigh up to 365kg.
This rare turtle has no visible shell but it has a carapace, which is
made up of hundreds of irregular bony plates covered with leathery skin.
It lives in warm sea waters and breeds off the West Indies, Florida, the
northeastern part of South America, Senegal, Natal, Madagascar, Ceylon
and Malaya. It eats jellyfish and other soft-bodied sea animals including
plants. These turtles can lay 60-100 eggs, which will hatch in about 7
weeks. This kind of turtle has a good chance at surviving for a very long