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Science Olympiad Herpetology 2018

Terms in this set (104)

Sea Turtles

- The seven extant species of sea turtles are: the green, loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, hawksbill, flatback, and leatherback.
-The turtle's shell is divided into two sections: carapace (the dorsal portion) and plastron (the ventral portion). The shell is made up of smaller plates called scutes.
-The leatherback is the only sea turtle that does not have a hard shell. Instead, it bears a mosaic of bony plates beneath its leathery skin.
- In general, sea turtles have a more fusiform body plan than their terrestrial or freshwater counterparts. The reduced volume of a fusiform body means sea turtles can not retract their head, legs, and arms into their shells for protection like other turtles can.[5] However this more stream-line body plan reduces drag in the water and allows the turtle to swim more easily.
-Sea turtles can be found in oceans except for the polar regions.
-The flatback sea turtle is found solely on the northern coast of Australia. The Kemp's ridley sea turtle is found solely in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the United States.
- Sea turtles are generally found in the waters over continental shelves.
- During the first three to five years of life, sea turtles spend most of their time in the pelagic zone floating in seaweed mats.
- Green sea turtles in particular are often found in Sargassum mats, in which they find shelter and food.
- Once the sea turtle has reached adulthood it moves closer to the shore. Females will come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches during the nesting season.
- Sea turtles are able to grow so large because of the immense size of their habitat: the ocean.

Sea turtles, sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines. The seven extant species of sea turtles are: the green, loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, hawksbill, flatback, and leatherback.

- Scientific name: Chelonioidea
- Higher classification: Cryptodira
- Rank: Superfamily