Google+

Sea Turtles in St. Augustine, Florida

 

 Sea Turtles in St. Augustine, Florida

By Trish Elliott

Zach McKenna and his naturalist guides at Ecotours of St. Augustine Florida offer many fascinating adventures, among them the opportunity to see a sea turtle “up close and personal”.

 

While visiting the ancient city of St. Augustine Florida, if you are coming from the beginning of May until early October, you may witness the nesting of female sea turtles. Over 50,000 sea turtles are in Florida, making it the most important nesting area in the United States. The Leatherback sea turtle is highly endangered, and the Loggerhead is the most common of Florida sea turtles.

 

A female sea turtle can lay several nests during a season, but nests only every two or three years. The difficult process of nesting takes many hours, as the female drags herself from the sea onto the sand dunes, employs her back flippers to dig a hole and deposits her Cc_Hatchling_Dave-Macrieggs, usually about 100, each the size of a ping pong ball. She then covers the nest with sand, and abandons it, never to return.

 

After incubating about two months, the hatchlings break out of their shells and begin moving, eventually causing the walls of the nest to collapse and the bottom of the hole to rise to the surface.  Once near the surface, however, the babies wait until the surface of the sand cools to emerge, and most come out after dark.  Once out of their nest, they make their way to the water and swim offshore, where they live for several years in seaweed beds, drifting in the Gulf Shore. As they grow older they venture out into coastal waters.

 

Hundreds of years ago there were sea turtles in the millions in the ocean.  But threats to their habitat, commercial fishing, and the demand for both their hide and pollution have contributed to their decline in numbers.  Another important factor is artificial lighting.  When hatchlings emerge from their nests they instinctively move towards the light, which historically has been the light of the ocean. The commercial development along most of the Florida coastline, however, has strong lighting and the hatchlings go the wrong way, thousands of them perishing in their endeavor to move towards the light.

 

The Leatherback Turtle is the largest and most active of the sea turtles. Up to eight feet in length, these huge turtles have a rubbery dark shell marked by seven narrow ridges that run the length of their back. Many travel thousands of miles and dive thousands of feet deep. They also venture into much colder water than any other sea turtle. These turtles feed on jellyfish and soft-bodied animals that would appear to provide very little nutrition for such huge animals.  About 200 leatherback nests are recorded in Florida each year.

 

The loggerhead turtle is the most common sea turtle in Florida. It is classified as a threatened but not an endangered species. Named because of its large head, which can be ten inches wide, it has powerful jaws used to crush the clams, crabs and encrusting animals on which it feeds. As many as 68,000 Loggerhead nests are found in Florida each year.

 

Below are some fun facts about sea turtles:

(1)  Sea Turtles have existed for over a hundred million years.

(2)  They live their entire life in the ocean, except when they lay eggs.

(3)  It can take 15-50 years before a sea turtle can reproduce.

(4)  They can travel thousands of miles, but usually return to the beach upon which they hatched to lay their eggs.

(5)  The nest temperature determines the sex—males like it cooler and females hotter.

(6)  They have great vision underwater, but can barely see out of water.

(7)  They are reptiles and can hold their breaths for a long time.

(8)  It is estimated that only one in 1,000-10,000 babies live into adulthood.

(9)  They use their jaws to crush and eat a diet of crabs, shrimp, mussels and jelly fish.

 

Take a tour with Ecotours of St. Augustine and you may see some of these fascinating reptiles!

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

BFFs Party in New Orleans in Raunchy Reunion Romp

  Girls Trip Film Review by Kam Williams BFFs Party in New Orleans in Raunchy Reunion Romp  Ryan (Regina Hall), Sasha (Queen Latifah), Dina (Tiffany Haddish) and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) have been friends since their college days in the Nineties. Back then, the tight-knit Flossy Posse partied as hard as they hit the books. After graduating, they curtailed the carousing considerably for the sake of their professional careers. Today, … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market

  Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market by Amy Lignor   What began as a “tiny” trend – which some called a “passing fad” at first – has become one of the largest growing industries in the U.S.A. in the 21st century; with records being broken in 2017.   Despite what you would call having a niche appeal, in the real estate market tiny homes are selling the BIGGEST. In fact, their all-time low in sales … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a revolution. Mobile devices are being used and will remain at the top of “must have” lists for all ages for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series

  Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series By Craig Lamb A pillar of the Carolina Skiff brand is the DLX Series, tracing its roots back to the first model built in 1983. Since then the DLX has built a loyal following as one of the most durable, versatile and stable boats on the water. Plain and simple, you just can’t beat it as a runabout, commercial workboat or for just about any activity on the water. Could the DLX get … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

NASCAR Fans “Gear Up” for Independence Day Weekend

  NASCAR Fans “Gear Up” for Independence Day Weekend by Amy Lignor   It is that time again. And while some families will be going out on the town or heading to their local fireworks display to sit on the lawn and watch the rockets’ red glare as the local firefighters put on an awesome display, there are thousands of others headed to Daytona in order to witness one of NASCAR’s mot anticipated events: The COKE ZERO 400 being held in the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Is Social Media Still Growing?

  Is Social Media Still Growing? by Amy Lignor   It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions that, at the time, sounded ridiculous and outrageous to those who read them. But when you look at how the social media realm has grown over the past few decades, it is important to take note that not only … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation

  The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation by Amy Lignor   When it comes to vacations people always think and worry about the locale. Where will they go? Does it have something for the kids? Are they looking at a camping trip, a historical location where they can treasure hunt through the museums, or simply that relaxing by the beach vacation that has everything to do with getting the right tan while sipping those amazing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]