June marks the month to celebrate our favourite sea creature, sea turtles!
World Sea Turtle Day is falls annual on June 16 and if you don’t already flippin’ love these creatures, here are 5 reasons why you should!
1. One in a million!
Well not exactly, but out of the more than 300 species of turtles, there are only 7 species of sea turtles.
2. Indestructible beings.
Scientists estimate that sea turtles have been swimming around for over 110 million years, which makes them as old as dinosaurs. And miraculously, they survived whatever killed the dinosaurs, making them almost indestructible in our book!
3. Like our grandparents, Turtles don’t have teeth.
Instead, their upper and lower jaws have sheaths or a cover made of keratin that fits onto the skull like a pair of false teeth. Keratin is the same hard protein that makes our finger nails hard.
4. A breath of fresh air.
Although sea turtles spend most of their lives underwater, they are actually living reptiles that need air to survive. They are able to spend so much time underwater by slowing their heart rate up to nine minutes between each beat in order to conserve oxygen.
5. Never doubt the female intuition.
Female sea turtles will return to the beach they hatch on to nest and they do so through a natural sense of navigation. Studies have found that sea turtles are able to sense the earth magnetic field, which they use as a compass.
6. Who run the world, girls!
Studies have shown that warmer nests can lead to more female babies, while cooler nests lead to more males. With climate change on the horizon, this can drastically alter the population of turtles, creating too many females and not enough males for reproduction.
We could go on and on about these amazing creatures but there’s a sad truth that we also need to highlight. Sadly, all seven species of sea turtles are listed as endangered today. Sea turtles are poached for their eggs, meat, skin and shell. Their meat and eggs are eaten as delicacies in some countries while their shells are turned into exotic trinkets.
They also face habitat destruction, as female turtles are unable to access their hatching beach due to coastal development.
So on World Sea Turtle Day, we only have one wish, and that is to protect these marvellous creatures so that the next generation are able to see them too. We hope this inspires you to do the same!