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Loggerhead Sea Turtles

One of the larger species of sea turtles, the loggerhead turtle ranges from 200-400 pounds (90 - 180 kg) and up to 4 feet in length (1.2 meters). They occur throughout temperate and tropical regions of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.

One of the most abundant of the species found in the US, they are named for their large head and strong crushing jaw (right) which enables them to eat hard-shelled prey such as crabs, conchs, and whelks.

  • One population of these turtles nests in Japan and migrates across the entire Pacific Ocean to the rich feeding grounds off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, where they spend several years foraging and maturing.

  • In the US, most of their nests are laid in Florida, however in the last decade the number of nests in Florida has declined by 40%.

  • They are listed as Vulnerable around the world by the IUCN Red List and Threatened in the US.

  • Their scientific name is Caretta caretta.

  • Masirah Island off the coast of Oman in the Middle East has the largest congregation of nesting loggerheads in the world, with an estimated 30,000 nests laid per year.

  • Loggerheads carry many organisms on their carapace (shell), like barnacles and crabs. Scientists have identified between 50-100 species of plant and invertebrate animals hitching a ride. These hitchhikers are called epibionts.