Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) have a very large and thick head which resembles a log (where the turtle gets its name). This species is very important to the ecosystem for several reasons. For example they as these turtles feed on invertebrates the shells pass through their systems and fall back to the ocean floor then becoming a source of calcium for other animals. They also provide shelter with over 100 species being found living on the shells of Loggerheads.
There can be a huge variety of size when it comes to Loggerhead Turtles. On average these turtles grow to about 3 feet or 1 meter long and weigh in at 250lbs/113kg, but Loggerheads that weigh more than 1000lbs have been found.
These turtles are primarily carnivorous, using their strong jaws to crush conch and crabs. Though they have been known to eat jellyfish, sponges, or even seaweed.
Loggerheads can nest year round but is typically most active in the summer months. Generally females build 3-5 nests per season of around 130 eggs in each nest, totaling 35 pounds or almost 16 kilograms of eggs.
- The primary threat to Loggerheads at this time is being by-catch for fisheries.
- This is currently the most common sea turtle species in the waters of the United States, but is very rare to see on St. Maarten.
Where to Spot Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Loggerheads are very rare to see on SXM. The only reported sightings of these species have been by divers within the Man-of-War Shoal Marine Park.
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