Ridley Me This, Sea Turtle

Imagine you’re underwater swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, looking for wildlife. Can you guess what sea turtle species is swimming by based on these riddles?

(Answer is in the photo credit in the image below each riddle)

1. Weighing no more than 100 pounds, this is the smallest and most endangered of the five sea turtle species in the U.S. Its shell is shaped like a circle, and it is green and yellow in color. This species’ favorite food is crabs. 

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. Photo from USFWS

2. With its large brown shell, this species’ common name is misleading. Though juveniles feed on both plants and animals, as adults this turtle feeds almost exclusively on sea grass and algae. 

Green sea turtle. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Tyler MacDonald

Green sea turtle. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Tyler MacDonald

3. From Australia to America and South Africa, this turtle nests in places all over the world. When in the United States, most nest on Florida’s shores. They have a strong jaw that helps them eat crustaceans. 

Loggerhead sea turtle. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Loggerhead sea turtle. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

4. One of the smallest sea turtles, second only to the Kemp’s ridley in the Gulf of Mexico, these turtles have large heads with powerful jaws. They like to swim in warmer waters and usually feed on sponges. Sadly, their beautiful serrated shells have led people hunting them for jewelry. 

Hawksbill sea turtle. Photo by Carey de Concha, USFWS

Hawksbill sea turtle. Photo by Carey de Concha, USFWS

5. This species is one of the largest living reptiles in the world, second only to some crocodiles, weighing in at up to 2000 pounds. They usually eat jellyfish, sometimes consuming as much as their own weight! They can change their body temperature, unlike other sea turtles, allowing them to swim in cooler waters. Their name comes from their leather-like shell which is not as bony as other sea turtles. Which sea turtle species is this?

Leatherback sea turtle. Photo from USFWS

Leatherback sea turtle. Photo by Claudia Lombard, USFWS

Did you know? A majority of the world’s seven sea turtle species can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, the five species native to the United States are threatened or endangered due to human impacts, with climate change a growing threat.

Help restore coastal habitats to help these sea turtles and other wildlife living in the Gulf.

Take Action Speak out now for sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico!

 

Answers:

  1. Kemp’s ridley sea turtle
  2. Green sea turtle
  3. Loggerhead sea turtle
  4. Hawksbill sea turtle
  5. Leatherback sea turtle

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