Photo Credit: Manor Guri / Nature and Parks Authority
Look at All the Tiny Little Turtles!

On Thursday morning, 46 baby brown sea turtles emerged from the nest at the hatchery in the Rosh Hanikra Sea Nature Preserve.

Volunteers from the Nature and Parks Authority with Supervisor Manor Guri accompanied the hatchlings safely to sea.

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Here they are, hatching and emerging from under the sand, cute but maybe also a little disturbing…

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is a species of oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 35 inches in carapace length when fully grown. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 300 lbs., with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 1,000 lb. The skin ranges from yellow to brown, and the shell is typically reddish-brown. No external differences in sex are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons (lower shells) than the females.

The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then become quiescent, producing no eggs for two to three years. The loggerhead reaches sexual maturity within 17–33 years and has a life span of 47–67 years.

The loggerhead sea turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Its large and powerful jaws serve as an effective tool for dismantling its prey. Young loggerheads are exploited by numerous predators; the eggs are especially vulnerable to terrestrial organisms. Once the turtles reach adulthood, their formidable size limits their vulnerability to large marine animals such as sharks.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.