World Turtle Day: The Maldives’ Sea Turtles in a (Nut)shell
Call them sleepyheaded, unenergetic, or find it displeasing that they couldn’t care less about your presence (don’t they know how you’ve been looking forward to arriving to Kuredu?!) – you got to love sea turtles!
From baby turtles’ awwww-so-cute, clumsy crawling from the beach where they hatched into the ocean, their fascinating navigational skills that allow them to return to the very same beach years later to nest themselves, there truly is something special about them.
If seeing sea turtles in their natural habitat is one of the things that is making the countdown to your Kuredu holiday unbearable, but you are still enjoying the pleasant suspense, you are in luck – the odds are good that you are going to see a few turtles whilst snorkelling / diving or from one of Kuredu’s excursions boats.
To celebrate World Turtle Day, we’ve collected 10 fun facts about turtles. Knowing these will not only make you appear smart in the eyes of fellow snorkellers and divers on Kuredu, but also make you appreciate how lucky you are to have found such a unique place – one to which even the world’s most ancient creatures are sticking, year after year…
FUN FACT #1 There are seven species of sea turtles. The most common ones around Kuredu are Green and Hawksbills.
FUN FACT #2 Kuredu’s turtles hate it if you call them tortoises. While they are both reptiles, unlike tortoises, turtles spend their lives in the water and only come to the beach to nest.
FUN FACT #3 Sea turtles breathe air with lungs and can hold their breath a lot longer than you ever could. The Green sea turtle is the champ: it can stay underwater for as long as five hours!
FUN FACT #4 They don’t have teeth, but their beaks can give clues as to what they eat: a Hawksbill’s narrow, pointed beak helps it pull prey such as sponges from tight spaces in a coral reef; Green sea turtle’s jagged-edged beak is great for snipping sea grass and scraping algae off coral.
FUN FACT #5 Every now and then, turtles cry. They do so to get rid of extra salt in their bodies.
FUN FACT #6 A female sea turtle comes ashore to nest, mostly at night. She uses her flippers to dig a nest and lays from 50 to 200 eggs. Then she covers them up with sand and lumbers back into the sea.
FUN FACT #7 Incubation takes about two months. Unlike baby alligators, which are liberated from their nest by their mother, these hatchlings must do it all themselves. The little turtles orient themselves to the brightest horizon, and then dash toward the sea.
FUN FACT #8 Once in the water, they typically swim several miles off shore, where they are caught in currents that carry them for years before returning to familiar waters.
FUN FACT #9 Sea turtles regularly navigate long distances to find the same tiny stretch of nesting beach. How they do it is one of the greatest mysteries in the animal kingdom, but studies suggest they can detect both the angle and intensity of the earth’s magnetic field.
FUN FACT #10 We’ve done our fair share of turtle research! At the renowned Kuredu Caves, we’ve identified 27 Green and 2 Hawksbills, Kuredu Express is home to 3 Green (+ 2 unconfirmed) and 1 Hawksbill, and the Kuredu lagoon/house reef boast 23 Green (+9 unconfirmed) and 8 Hawksbill turtles.
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See, the life of a turtle is anything from easy! And because we love Barney, Lily and other members of the Kuredu turtle family, and want them to enjoy
our their patch of paradise as much as you do, be respectful: don’t touch them & don’t prevent them from taking a breath. If you like them as much as we do, you may also want to visit the Conservation section of our website for more info on ocean conservation issues, and drop by at the dive center to have your other questions about turtles answered.
Happy World Turtle Day!