Around six species of sea turtles out of eight are found in the southern US and Caribbean. These six species are at the verge of extinction due to extreme hunting. Man is the only predator that threatens the survival of sea turtles for they have been dwelling in the oceanic waters for millions of years since the age of dinosaur. The largest sea turtles are leatherback that can weigh as much as 1,300 pounds while the smallest is the Kemp’s ridleys weighing less than 100 pounds. Scientists are concerned about how long do sea turtles live so as to take some preventive measures against the increasing decline in numbers.
There are no more than 500 adult females surviving in the world. Sea turtles mature very slowly and some of the species like green sea turtles mature at the age of 30 years. Many species generally travel great distances from their feeding grounds to the nesting sites. The leatherback builds their nest in tropics and they usually feed in cold waters around Nova Scotia. Sea turtles often return to the same site for laying eggs where they were hatched. Scientists do not know how do they find their way back. They do not nest every year but when the season begins, there is a large number of nesting sites within a season. Apart from leatherback, all the species seem to have similar appearance with regard to their basic design and shape.
How Long Do Sea Turtles Live in the Wild
A common belief about the sea turtles’ life span is that they live as long as 80 years or more but a mere belief is not enough to convince scientists. Scientists are still unable to devise any appropriate method for inspecting sea turtles and determining their age. The research is, nevertheless, in progress and there is a fair indication such as the long bones will develop annual “growth” rings that, up to a point, can be considered.
Scientists maintain that the most dangerous phase of the sea turtles’ life span is their initial 10 years. During these ten years, sea turtles do not seem to have a fast movement as they are too small for this. However, many scientists certainly believe that if they pass these ten years, they surely live a longer life. Some of the species are known to live up to 100 years but there is little evidence to support this assertion. Once sea turtles become adults they have few natural predators thus ensuring a longer life span. They are susceptible to predators during hatchlings. Sea turtles often swim at a speed of 1,400 miles (2,253 kilometers) to get to their nesting grounds.