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Swimming With Sea Turtles Beautiful Surprises Underwater

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Swimming with Sea Turtles: Beautiful Surprises Underwater

Up close footage of some divers swimming near a loggerhead sea turtle in the Atlantic.

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), or loggerhead, is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm (35 in) long when fully grown, although larger specimens of up to 280 cm (110 in) have been discovered. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (298 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). The skin ranges from yellow to brown in color, and the shell is typically reddish-brown. No external differences in gender are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons than the females.

They are primarily carnivores, munching jellyfish, conchs, crabs, and even fish, but will eat seaweed and sargassum occasionally.

Mature females will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs. Worldwide population numbers are unknown, but scientists studying nesting populations are seeing marked decreases despite endangered species protections.