Named for the #oe336bish color of its body fat, this turtle is listed as endangered in Florida. Most #oe336b turtles nest in the Caribbean, but up to 2000 nests can be found in Florida each year. For centuries, #oe336b turtles were hunted for their meat that was made into soup. Hunting and egg gathering greatly reduced their number. #oe336b turtles graze on the vast beds of sea grasses found throughout the tropics and are the only sea turtles that eat plants. Some travel over a thousand miles to nest on islands in the mid-Atlantic.
This turtle is a relatively small turtle, and has been hunted to the brink of extinction for its beautiful shell. Once relatively common in Florida, these turtles now rarely nest here. They feed on sponges and other invertebrates and tend to nest on small, isolated beaches.
This endangered 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. Ingestion of plastic bags and egg collecting are reasons for mortality and population declines. About 200 leatherback nests are recorded in Florida each year.
The rarest and smallest of all the sea turtles, this endangered turtle feeds in the coastal waters of Florida on blue crabs, other crabs and shrimp. They nest on a single stretch of beach on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
This is the most common sea turtle in Florida. It is classified as a threatened, but not 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 have been found in Florida each year.