Turtles are one of the oldest creatures evolved even before the dinosaurs. They also play a very significant role in maintaining the bio-diversity of ocean by consuming number of items like sea weeds, grass, sponges and increasing the productivity and nutrient content of the sea beds. Across the globe, 23rd May is celebrated as “World Turtle Day”. Freshwater turtles are being kept as pets by the many people. (The most common species famous for captivity is red-eared sliders).
Ten Lines on Turtle
1) Turtles are the reptiles belonging to the order of “Testudines” vertebrates spread across the aquatic bodies of every continent except Antarctica.
2) They are the most common species found in the ocean after fish.
3) There are more than 300 species of turtles including groups of tortoises and terrapins varying in size, shape and colour.
4) Lifespan of average turtle is 80 years. Certain species can live more than 110 years.
5) Average length lies between 6 cm - 2.1 m and weighs between 10 kg - 700 kg.
6) Turtles would dig a hole on land (beaches across the ocean) for laying the eggs and then cover it with sand for protection.
7) Turtles are cold blooded animal hence they prefer tropical and subtropical beaches around the globe for nesting.
8) Female turtles lay almost 60-190 eggs at a time.
9) Turtles shell generally acts as a protecting shield for many vital organs and saves them from numerous predators.
10) Majority of turtles are omnivorous in nature however depending on the type of species some can be herbivorous and carnivorous too.
1) Turtles provide food for other animals like fish by carrying algae, ocean arthropod to the shore.
2) Turtles have good vision and are very sensitive to the red colour.
3) Turtles can immediately feel the presence of the predator due to their exceptional sensing ability through hearing, smell and touch.
4) Turtles move very slowly due to their heavy shell.
5) Turtles can migrate thousands of miles for various purposes like hatching of eggs, protection from predators and the reproduction.
6) Turtles are not very social in nature; they rarely come in contact except for the courtship and mating purpose.
7) Seven species of sea turtles are found around the world which can survive in both cold and warm water.
8) Many species of turtles are facing the risk of extinction due to hunting and poaching.
9) Turtles are consumed by humans as a source of food in the form of meat.
10) Shell of turtles has medicinal importance in Chinese culture and fat of turtles is the main ingredient in many cosmetic products.
Turtles play a very crucial role in maintaining the biological diversity and health of the ocean for thousands of years. In present scenario, oceans are under grave threat due to over fishing, poaching of the sea animals and pollution from plastics which in turn is impacting the population of sea turtles.
Commercial hunting of the sea species, loss of nesting habitats have resulted in declining population of turtles around the globe. It’s time for us to conserve the population of sea turtles by various means like implementing tough laws for the ban on trade of turtles, rebuild the nesting habitat in large numbers, take concrete actions to prevent pollution.