Discover the largest sea turtle in the world


The sea turtles, which existed about 110 million years ago, are one of the oldest species of animals living today, and even existed during the time of the dinosaurs. These magnificent reptiles, also known as sea turtles, are rarely found on land and can weigh around 1,500 pounds.

But how big can sea turtles be? We take a look at the largest sea turtle in the world and then take a look at the largest sea turtle ever to inhabit the world’s oceans!

Backstory about sea turtles

Sea turtles are found all over the world, with the exception of the polar regions, and their lifespan exceeds 50 years, although some may live much longer. Their shells differ in shape from freshwater turtles and have a much more tapering shape at each end, which means they cannot retract their head or limbs as protection from predators. Their limbs are actually flippers, which makes them extremely vulnerable on land, but allows them to swim easily in the sea and reach a top speed of around 20 miles per hour.

There are currently seven species of sea turtles in the world, and depending on which species they are, sea turtles come in a variety of colors, including olive green, yellow, green-brown, red-brown, and black. There are six types of hard shells – hawk, olive ridley, kemp’s ridley, green, loggerhead and flat back (native to Australia only). The last and largest species is the leathery back, the shell of which is more flexible and skin-like, hence their name. Leather sea turtles can reach 1,500 pounds and average 5 feet in length. They also dive deeper and travel farther than any other species, and even hold the title of the largest necrocodile reptile in the world.

While leatherback turtles are the largest species of sea turtles, others can be quite large too. Green sea turtles are the next largest species with an average weight of 300 pounds and a length of 4.5 feet. The third largest species is the loggerhead, which can reach 4 feet with an average weight of 250 pounds. None of the sea turtle species have a size difference between males and females.

Most sea turtles are omnivorous and eat a variety of algae, jellyfish, squid, shells and other small organisms, but the green sea turtle is a herbivore and feeds exclusively on algae and algae. Sea turtles have adapted to their habitat and use their front fins to brush and hold food while eating. Although they must breathe air to survive, sea turtles can stay underwater for up to 40 minutes while they feed, and even up to 7 hours when they sleep.

Coral reef animals: sea turtles
Sea turtles can hold their breath for up to seven hours.
Baby sea turtles on the sand
Sea turtles start life as tiny chicks 2 inches long

The largest sea turtle ever recorded

The world record was set on 23rd September 1988 at Harlech Beach in Gwynedd, Wales, when a male leatherback turtle was washed ashore after being entangled in fishing nets. In fact, this giant set several records, measuring 9 feet 5.5 inches from tip of beak to tip of tail, and weighing in at 2019 pounds. Moreover, at the time of his death he was about 100 years old.

Incredibly, a farmer called the Wildlife Fund and said that a “monster” was thrown onto the beach, which was larger than a cow and resembled a Volkswagen car! Upon hearing the news of this huge specimen, the Cardiff Museum immediately said they needed it, so the Wildlife Fund put it on a trailer and drove it to Cardiff the next morning. At the museum, they hired a crane to lift the giant tortoise, but it was so heavy that all the weight warning signals went off on the crane. The massive leather back has been preserved and has been exhibited at the National Museum of Wales since the age of February 1990, where he remains to this day.

Swimming sea turtle with a beautiful shell
Some sea turtles grow up to 9 feet in length.

Giant sea turtles for a long time: a 15 pound prehistoric species that was the largest sea turtle ever!

Today, the largest sea turtles in the world are leather turtles, which can reach over nine feet in length. However, it has been named the largest sea turtle that ever existed. Archelon, and roamed the Earth in the days of the dinosaurs.

Archelon from head to tail it reached 15 feet in length. When measured from fin to fin Archelon was 13 feet wide. Finally, the giant ancient sea turtle weighs up to 4,900 pounds, about 2.5 times the size of the largest modern sea turtles!

The largest sea turtle - Archelon
Skeleton Archelon

Archelon lived at the end of the Cretaceous and became extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs. The last traces today Archelon they can only be found in museums, as modern sea turtles do not trace their ancestry to this giant species.

How do sea turtles compare to other turtles?

Although they are not as large as the now extinct sea turtles from the Late Cretaceous period, sea turtles today still do a good job of keeping up with the size of other species of turtles.

The loggerhead is considered the largest living hard-shelled turtle, while the leatherback turtle is the largest reptile in the order. Testudines which includes all turtles, turtles and turtles. By comparison, the largest land turtle is the snapping alligator turtle, which is 30 inches long and weighs 225 pounds. Even the largest freshwater turtle, the Yangtze soft-bodied turtle, is only 39 inches long and weighs 220 pounds, which means sea turtles are much larger than their counterparts.

Sea turtle (Hawksbill Turtle) with a clear background.
Sea turtles are much larger than any other species of turtles in the world

Before they become giants: sea turtles begin life as tiny cubs

Male sea turtles never go ashore and spend their whole life in the water, while females go ashore only to lay eggs. Females do not mature until they are 10-15 years old, and during each breeding season (which can range from one to nine years), they lay several clutches of eggs.

Under cover of night, the female usually comes ashore and digs with her hind limbs a circular hole about 20 inches deep in the sand, and then lays eggs in it. Each clutch can contain from 60 to 180 soft-shell eggs laid by the female. After laying them, she again fills the hole, and then covers it with vegetation. Surprisingly, she can also dig a few bait pits to confuse predators before returning to the sea and leaving the eggs unattended. The whole process takes 30 to 60 minutes.

After 60 days, the eggs hatch into juvenile sea turtles, known as hatchlings. However, sea turtles do go to extremes in terms of size as they are actually tiny when they hatch – only about 2 inches long. After hatching, the chicks dig their way out of the nest through the sand and head to the sea, where they spend their first few years in open water before heading closer to shore when they reach adulthood. One of the most interesting features of sea turtles is that the sex of the hatched chicks is determined by the temperature of the sand around the nest. Usually, if the temperature in the nest is below 82 ° F, they will be males, but if the temperature is above 87 ° F, they will be females.

Eggs and calves are at risk from a range of predators, including birds, crabs, fish and raccoons. Due to their size, adults have few natural predators other than large sharks and crocodiles. However, the main danger to sea turtles is us humans, as they often end up in fishing nets as bycatch and climate change are causing many of their nesting sites to disappear.

What’s more, pollution and plastic waste can be a major concern for these giants, as they often eat plastic, putting them at great risk of illness or death. Unfortunately, this means that all sea turtle species are endangered: leatherback and olive turtles are classified as vulnerable, boobies and greens are classified as endangered, while the hawk and ridley sea turtles are endangered. No data on the IUCN Red List for flat sea turtles, but they are classified as an endangered species in their native Australia.

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