New Discoveries point Scientists to Huge Ancient Sea Turtles

by Simone Rogers, age 15

  Sea turtles first roamed planet Earth about 250 million years ago. Scientists know this because fossils records indicate sea turtles are from the Jurassic period. Scientists learn more every year about these fascinating ancient creatures. For instance, the skull of a sea turtle found in South Dakota in 1996 is 70 million years old. From this discovery scientists learned that, at one time, sea turtles were twice as big as they are today.

  The evolution of sea turtles tells an interesting story. Originally they had  four appendages instead of flippers, suggesting they once lived on land. They had hard shells, and their color was different from than. Their necks were longer, and researchers think the ancient turtles were probably meat eaters. About 65 million years ago, at 13 feet 10 length they were the largest sea turtles to ever roam the earth. 

  Climate change has a major effect on endangered species like sea turtles. A good example is nesting beach temperatures. This can have a special impact on sea turtles. Because these turtles incubate their eggs in the sand, temperature determines the sex of hatchlings. The eggs in the lower cooler part of the nest will become males; the ones in the upper warmer parts become females. 

  Scientists think there have been more female hatchlings than males, in recent years. This is a threat to the genetic diversity of the species.

  In addition, warmer ocean temperatures are affecting sea turtle food resources in and around coral reefs. Scientists are working to protect these fascinating animals. They are moving some eggs to cooler places, just as they are ready to hatch.  Scientists also often act as a chaperone during key hatching periods to guide the hatchlings to water and protect them from predators. 

  Although their survival is threatened by human activity and habitat issues, science is launching new efforts to ensure the future of sea turtles. 

[Sources: www.conserveturtles.org; www.seaturtle-world.com]


wow! I never knew turtles were meat eater in the Jurassic period! Great article Simone! – JoshMadison, WI (2012-06-19 19:26)
Awesome article! I have learned some new and good stuff about turtles today. Good job Simone Rogers. – TeresaMadison, WI (2012-08-06 14:43)
Hey, this is awesome. I love turtles. After reading this article, I love them more. I bet it would be cool to go back in time and see those enormous turtles. I think I'm gonna go do that right now! – MaxwellTravelling (2012-11-20 20:14)
This video is fantastic. Having scuba dived on hoalidy for the first time last year in Fiji i would love to experience caribbean waters. Scuba diving with turtles is something that my wife and i have always wanted to do. I also hear that small scuba diving hoalidy companies offer a much better overall experience than larger ones. I think this years hoalidys will definately involve scuba diving in the caribbean and by the look of this website your company offers a professional service. My wife and i will definately investigate the possibility of a scuba diving hoalidy in the very near future. Good luck an happy sailing. Juk & Sue – RichardThis video is fantastic. Having scuba dived on hoalidy for the first time last year in Fiji i would love to experience caribbean waters. Scuba diving with turtles is something that my wife and i have always wanted to do. I also hear that small scuba diving hoalidy companies offer a much better overall experience than larger ones. I think this years hoalidys will definately involve scuba diving in the caribbean and by the look of this website your company offers a professional service. My wife and i will definately investigate the possibility of a scuba diving hoalidy in the very near future. Good luck an happy sailing. Juk & Sue (2014-12-06 13:48)
Mary was a beloved friend and nehgobir to our family for over 60 years. She had a kind, gentle spirit that made everyone feel welcome to her home and farm. We are all so happy that your pain on this earth is over. Rest in peace, Mary. Heaven now has a very special angel. – AndieMary was a beloved friend and nehgobir to our family for over 60 years. She had a kind, gentle spirit that made everyone feel welcome to her home and farm. We are all so happy that your pain on this earth is over. Rest in peace, Mary. Heaven now has a very special angel. (2016-04-27 19:18)
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