8 Facts about the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Marine Life

8 Facts you need to know about Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   10 Aug 2022

loggerhead turtle swimming underwater

The loggerhead sea turtle, also known as Caretta Caretta, is found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. This turtle lives most of their lives in saltwater. Only females come ashore to lay eggs.

The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate, the age of sexual maturity (within 17–33 years) plus the short lifespan of this kind of sea turtle (47–67 years), have put them on the list of Endangered Species.

Let us give you some curious facts about this turtle that inhabit the coast of the Ionian Sea, and win the space on the logo of our dive center.

1. The biggest hard-shelled turtle

You got that right, loggerhead sea turtle in the largest hard-shell sea turtle in the world. There are seven types of sea turtle, the largest being the leatherback turtle. However, leatherback turtles have a soft shell, making Caretta Caretta the largest of its kind. Despite the fact that Mediterranean loggerheads are smaller on average than other loggerhead sea turtles.

2. Under the protection of the Endangered Species

Caretta Caretta was originally listed as an endangered species in 1973. Several factors have placed this turtle on the list. Loss of nesting habitat due to holidays and human tourism patterns is the greatest threat. This in combination with turtles trapped in fishing nets or ingesting other plastics make humans the primary enemy for their survival.

Greece is the most popular nesting site along the Mediterranean, due to legislation on the protection of nesting areas, with more than 3000 nests annually. Being, Zakynthos and Kyparissia Bay, the biggest Mediterranean breeding grounds.


3. Salty Tears

Did you ever wonder how the sea turtles keep their osmotic balance? The loggerhead sea turtle has a lachrymal gland behind each eye that eliminates the excess salt gained from ingesting sea water. When they exiting the water, this secretion gives the impression that the turtle is crying.

4. Female Fights

While female aggression is unusual in marine vertebrates, it is fairly common in Caretta Caretta. The ritualized fight over feeding grounds can go from a simple threat to a full battle with different results. Make sure you stay away if you ever encounter one!


5. Too cold to swim!

If you are a big fun of movies and blanket winter days, you will understand this turtle. When the water gets too cold (13 to 15ºC), the loggerhead comes in a lethargic state. Floating in the same position for up to 7 hours, coming up to breathe for only 7 minutes, the longest dives recorded for marine vertebrates that breathe air.

6. Who is the father?

This kind of turtle has a differs way to see paternity. Females have sperm storage, where they can hold sperm from different males until ovulation. Multiple fatherhood is frequent along sea turtles, having the same hatch different fathers.


7. Baby Boom

The first reproduction of loggerhead turtles takes place between 17 and 33 years of age, with a mating period of two months. Using a mating-induced ovulation that is rarely seen outside mammals, the female fertilized the eggs. The average female will produce 4 clutches of 112 eggs each, before becoming two to three years tranquil without producing eggs.

Breeding grounds grow annually around the Ionian coast of Greece, thanks to the creation of protected areas and the support of the Conservation Organizations.

You can see baby turtles hatching on all of Messinia’s nesting beaches from July through September.

8. Tell me what you eat…

As human beings, the sea turtles are omnivorous. Their main food is sea-bottom invertebrates, but there are other curious meals on their menu. For example, the famous jellyfish, Portuguese men of war, squids, corals and even hatching turtles from their own species.

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to take a plunge and go swimming and admire these creatures by your side.