Monday, January 3, 2011


Turtle Parts

Carapace of a turtle
Carapace-top shell, an outgrowth of bone.
Flippers-pond turtle has flat feet, webbed toes for digging in mud, tearing food, courtship, sea turtle has broad flippers for swimming.
Plastron-bottom shell
A turtle's scutes
Scutes-scales over both shells, made of keratin like your fingernails
A turtle withdrawing into its shell
Neck-pond turtle can fold neck into its shell in S-shape, sea turtle can't
Nostrils-near the top of head so turtle won't have to stick head far out of water to breathe
Turtle beak
Beak-no teeth, but jagged beak catches, holds, and slices food
Ears-no outside parts to slow it down underwater


                                     LEATHERBACK TURTLES

Did you that the female leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle in the world?  This turtle is as big as a single bed and weighs more than a refrigerator.  Her skin is thick and rubbery.  When she comes to shore to lay her eggs  she crawls very slowly because of her huge body. Adults can grow almost as long as 10 feet . In a single year an adult leatherback might migrate 9,320 miles.
This turtle will nest every two or three years and will lay seventy to ninety eggs in each nest.  In a single nesting season, she may return to a beach five or six times to lay her eggs.
Leatherbacks are endangered with the greatest threats coming from fishing nets, in which the sea turtle may drown.