10 Sep 5 Fun Facts About Sea Turtles!
5 Fun Facts About Sea Turtles!
A Myrtle Beach vacation is a good idea any time of year, but if you plan your timing right, you’ll have the chance to see an amazing natural phenomenon right on our shores! Myrtle Beach sea turtle nesting season runs from May through October, giving you the chance to see turtles build nests and lay eggs on the sand, then later, watch the newly hatched chicks make their way to shore.
Here are five fun facts to know about turtles for the next nesting season!
1. They May Have Met the Dinosaurs!
Leatherback sea turtles have been around since the dinosaurs walked the Earth, giving us a fascinating look into the past. Scientists think that sea turtles have been on the planet for more than 110 million years! These turtles will often swim over 10,000 miles every year between the spots where they forage and nest. They can also dive down more than 4,000 feet, which most marine life can’t even fathom.
2. They Lay Tons of Eggs
While birds might only lay a handful of eggs, turtles are quite the opposite. Female turtles can lay over 100 eggs in every nest, and they can make a nest multiple times over a few months, usually about two weeks apart. Why is it so important for them to lay hundreds of eggs? The journey from land to sea is tough for newborn turtles, so not all of them make it to adulthood.
3. Sand Temperature is Key
The temperature of a sea turtle’s nest will determine the babies’ genders inside. When the temperatures are cooler, the babies are male, and when it’s warm, they’re female. If the temps fluctuate a lot throughout the season, you’ll find both male and female babies! Scientists are concerned, though, that climate change will impact future turtle populations, creating too few males and too few females.
4. Sea Turtles Are What They Eat!
Sea turtles possess a trademark green hue, and there’s a good reason for that. They are mainly herbivores, meaning their diet largely consists of plants. These plants give the turtles’ cartilage and fat a green color. Their shells won’t change colors, but the rest of the body will!
5. They Don’t Retract
You’ve probably seen cute videos of turtles retracting their heads into their shells, but sea turtles actually aren’t able to do it! Their shells are streamlined and don’t offer enough space for the head. Plus, their flippers are large and paddle-shaped, so they’re unable to fit under the shell, either. It’s not a problem that they can’t retract, though, since they don’t have to protect themselves from land predators.
Pull out one of these facts on your next Myrtle Beach vacation and impress your family and friends! For the best chance to see sea turtles, dolphins, and more, book an eco-tour with Blue Wave Adventures! We offer family-friendly eco-tours that are fun and educational for guests of all ages. Contact us today to learn more!