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   Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Common Name: Loggerhead - named for its extremely huge head.

Scientific Name: Caretta caretta

Description: The loggerhead sea turtle has a particularly huge head with heavy strong jaws. Its bony, heart-shaped carapace has no ridge but has large, non-overlapping, rough scutes which have 5 lateral scutes. Its short and thick front flippers have 2 claws, while the rear flippers have 2 or 3 claws. The carapace of a loggerhead is reddish-brown while the plastron is yellowish-brown. The carapace of loggerhead hatchlings is dark-brown and its flippers are pale brown.

Size: Loggerhead sea turtles are usually 73-107 cm in carapace length, which is about 2.5 to 3.5 feet.

Weight: Adult Loggerhead sea turtle has a weigh about 159 kg, which equals to 350 pounds.

Diet: Loggerhead sea turtles eat meat and forage for shellfish that live in the deep ocean. They also eat invertebrates such as horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, and others. Their jaw muscles are powerful enough to crush shellfish with ease.

Habitat: They like eating regularly in places like coastal bays and estuaries, and the shallow water along the continental shelves of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Nesting: Loggerheads nest every 2, 3, or more years. They lay 4 to 7 times every season, at an interval of about 12 to 14 days. They lay between 100 and 126 eggs averagely in every nest. The time needed for the eggs to incubate is about 60 days.

Status: U.S. - Listed as Threatened under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act, which tells us that itís likely to become endangered, and itís in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future.
International - Listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, which means it has a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.)

Threats to Survival: Because of coastal lighting and housing developments, predation of nests, and human disturbances, the loss of nesting habitat has been the greatest threat, which causes disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings. Other major threats include incidental capture in longline fishing, shrimp trawling and pollution. Incidental capture in fisheries played an important part in the recent population declines observed for the loggerhead sea turtle.

Population Estimate: 44,560 nesting females.

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