TURTLESSea turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines. There are currently seven species of sea turtles: leatherback sea turtle, green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Kemp's ridley sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, flatback sea turtle and olive ridley sea turtle. Four of these species are considered to be endangered, or even critically endangered due to human impacts. Sea turtles can be found in all of the oceans except for the polar regions. They are known to travel between ocean waters as well. After going into the water for the first time, male sea turtles will never return to land again. During the first three to five years of life, sea turtles spend most time in the pelagic zone floating in seaweed beds. Females will return to shore only to lay their eggs on sandy beaches during nesting seasons.
The reason sea turtles are so large are because their habitats are extremely large. Having more room to live enables more growth, which is why they are bigger than tortoises who can only live on land. Sea turtles continue their cycles of eggs for 80 years. Often times, their hatching could include up to 250 turtles because not all of them will survive, however. Turtle nests that hatch during the day, are more prone to predators like birds, crab, sea birds, raccoon, ants and other animals on the beach. They also encounter more human activity on beaches after hatching and can run into human obstacles such as beach chairs, umbrellas, sand castles, as well as dogs and people on the beaches themselves.
Marine sea turtles are caught worldwide, although it is illegal to hunt most species in many countries. A great deal of intentional marine sea turtle harvests worldwide are for food. Many parts of the world have long considered sea turtles to be fine dining. Ancient Chinese texts dating to the fifth century B.C.E. describe sea turtles as exotic delicacies. Tortoiseshell, a traditional decorative ornamental material used in Japan and China, comes from the carapace scutes of the hawksbill sea turtle.
It is our duty as humans to protect the species on this planet to make sure they can flourish as well with the resources and ecosystems that we all share as a planet. We need to make sure we do not disrupt hatching cycles, that we don't allow hunting and poaching of turtles, and we must get our local, state, and federal governments involved in the process as well. It's okay to eat animals if that is your only diet available to you, like when natives hunt turtles or eat their eggs to survive. However, we do not need to make a market or a delicacy out of turtles.