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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Types of turtles – incredible marine species
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Types of turtles – incredible marine species

Sri Lanka features 5 of the 7 turtle species of the world that arrive on these shores during particular periods to nest. Vacationers to the Deep South will find such an experience truly worthwhile.

1

Green turtle

The green turtle is the most commonly found of its species in the Emerald Isle and is thus named owing to the colour of the fat which is found on the upper level of its shell. Your average green turtle can weigh up to 250 kg and grow to a maximum length of around 1 meter. Most of the species are carnivorous though adult green turtles are known to consume large quantities of marine vegetation. Further, a female turtle can lay between 120 – 140 eggs at a time.

2

Hawksbill turtle

A hawksbill turtle can be easily recognized and differentiated from other turtle species with its bird-like beak and narrow head being its prominent features. The hawksbill is relatively smaller than the green turtle, weighs between 50 – 70 kg and measures not more than 90 cm in length. However, the species has been placed on the critically endangered list which is why it is rare to spot when compared with the green turtle. Though, the tropical waters of Sri Lanka mean that it provides ideal surroundings for the hawksbill turtle to live in.

3

Leatherback turtle

Considered the largest in the turtle family, the leatherback turtle continues to be on the verge of extinction owing to a number of reasons that can range from fishing to other commercial purposes for which its shells are often used. Its white and black striped shell makes it easily identifiable and also the leatherback is known as the sole sea turtle which does not have a hard shell. The leatherback can reach up to 3 meters in length and its seven ridges and carapace ensure that it can dive down to up to 1500 meters in search of much needed food and nutrition.

4

Oliver ridley turtle

The olive shell that is found on the back of this species is the main reason for its name. The olive ridley is one of the species of turtles that nests on Kosgoda beach and is known to lay about 150 eggs at a time. It is one of the two species of ridley turtles in the world and comes across as the smallest of all sea turtles but the threat of extinction does loom large. For example, if you are residing along the southern coastal belt of the country and yearn to go adventuring, do consider coming over to Kosgoda beach. Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa which is one of the Mirissa hotels can be given some thought when planning your holiday in these parts.

5

Loggerhead turtle

The loggerhead turtle though being quite rare to encounter in Sri Lanka is known to feed off crustaceans and molluscs. Its weight can vary in the range of 170 – 200 kg with its maximum length being similar to that of the green turtle. The loggerhead turtle is mostly brown or red in colour.

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