- Common Name:
- Loggerhead sea turtles
- Scientific Name:
- Caretta caretta
- Group Name:
- 36 inches
- 253 pounds
These beautifully colored sea turtles got their name because their oversized head sort of looks like a big log. Within their heads are powerful jaws, which loggerheads use for crushing prey like conchs, horseshoe crabs, and other animals with hard shells. They also eat softer foods like jellyfish, fish, seaweed, and a brown algae called sargassum.
A loggerhead female generally nests every two to three years. On average, she'll lay eggs four times in one nesting season. Each time, she comes ashore and uses her front flippers to clear a spot in dry sand. Then she uses her hind flippers to dig her nesting hole and gently lay her eggs.
Those that remain undisturbed hatch about 60 days later. Hatchlings dig their way up through the sand toward the surface and wait just underneath the last layer of sand until nightfall.
Once cooler temperatures signal that the sun has set, the hatchlings pop the rest of the way out and scurry toward the ocean avoiding raccoons, crabs, birds, and other predators.