Mainly at night. In Broward County, the nesting season is from March 1st through October 31st. Leatherbacks nest from early March through mid-June typically, but this species accounts for less than 1% of the nests we get in Broward County. Loggerheads are our most common nester and tend to nest from April through early September, with peak months being June and July. Greens nest from late May through early September, with alternating extreme high and low nesting seasons.
Depends on the species. On average, sea turtles lay anywhere from 80-120 ping-pong ball sized eggs. Leatherbacks lay about 90 tennis ball sized eggs. All sea turtle eggs have a papery texture and somewhat soft so they dent instead of breaking when being dropped into the egg chamber.
Adult loggerheads can be anywhere from 200-400 lbs. Greens can weigh anywhere from 300-500 lbs. Leatherbacks can get up to 2,000 lbs (the heaviest recorded was 2,019 lbs).
There has not been a turtle followed from emergence to natural death, so it is hard to know for sure. Evidence suggests that sea turtles can live up to 100 years of age. Onset of sexual maturity is also species dependent but is typically around 10-35 years.
Loggerheads and green eggs typically take around 2 months to develop before they hatch. Leatherback eggs, however, take a bit longer, usually surpassing two months’ time.
A natural or in situ nest will have an average hatching success rate of 75-95%, while a relocated nest will have an average hatching success rate of 68-88%. Overall, only one in 1,000 sea turtles will make it to adulthood, usually due to predation.
Predators after nest emergence include birds, fish, crabs, and foxes. Once they make it to the ocean, snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, sharks, etc., will all make a quick snack of sea turtles. The largest threat is not from predation, but rather human related causes, such as pollution, boat strikes, fishing gear and entanglement, artificial lighting, etc.
As hatchlings, you can't tell by looking. As adults, males have a much longer tail than females. Sand temperature affects gender: 29.6 degrees Celcius during the middle third of incubation will produce a 50:50 gender ratio. A couple of degrees higher will produce all females and a couple of degrees cooler will produce all males.
There are many programs along our beaches that offer opportunities to see nesting mothers and/or hatchlings. Check out this link to learn more: https://hcas.nova.edu/seaturtles/walk-hatchling-release.html
Yes, that seems to be the case. An individual turtle will nest within 5 to 20 miles, on average, of where they hatched from and/or nested in the past, based on tagging studies. There's also evidence that the hatchlings can detect variations in the earth's magnetic field and that's how they navigate back.
Yes, an individual loggerhead or green female will nest anywhere from 2-7 times per year, typically at 2–3-week intervals. Leatherbacks will nest 7-10 times per year at 10-day intervals (approximately). She will not nest every year however, but rather every other year or third year. This will depend on how well they eat during the year/non-nesting season.