Loggerheads are one of only seven recognized species of marine turtles still in existence today.
One of the loggerhead's major nesting concentrations is in the southeastern United States from North Carolina to Florida.
An average loggerhead clutch contains 120 white, spherical eggs that have a leathery shell.
Loggerheads feed mainly on conchs, crabs, horseshoe crabs, shrimps, sea urchins, fishes, squids, octopuses, whelks, crabs, fish, sponges, and jellyfish. (See? They eat jellyfish! You knew you liked loggerheads, didn't you?).
All sea turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It is against the law to harass, handled, or disturb them in any way.
Loggerhead FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Loggerheads normally weigh 170 to 315 pounds and attain a length of 31 to 49 inches.
Loggerheads, like all sea turtles, are reptiles. They are related to land turtles, lizards, and snakes.
Loggerhead turtles sometimes eat hard, shelled animals such as crabs and clams. They also feed upon sponges, jellyfish, mussels, clams, oysters, shrimp, and a variety of fish. They eat jellyfish? Yet another reason to love loggerheads!
Since 1983 the population of the Loggerhead Turtle has declined by more than 50%, making it an endangered species. Loggerhead populations have declined from historical levels because of coastline development and disturbance of beaches by human activities such as cleaning, driving, and artificial lighting; collecting eggs; destructive fishing practices; pollution; and the dumping of trash into the ocean.
Throughout their life, Loggerheads are exploited as a food source by some cultures and for their shells which are used in some manufacturing processes. They are also harmed and killed by the propellers of high speed boats and the swallowing of discarded rubbish such as plastic bags and fishing lines. In addition, modern day fishing techniques such as trawling for prawns and fish, can cause turtles to become entangled in the nets and drown.
The leading cause of loggerhead mortality is drowning in shrimp and fish nets. In 1978, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began a program intended to prevent the drowning of turtles in shrimp trawls. A cage-like design called a turtle excluder device (TED) was developed to be installed within the trawl. Since there was a lack of widespread use of these devices on a voluntary basis, NMFS promulgated regulations requiring their use.
Protection of marine habitat is extremely critical to the loggerhead's continued survival. The beaches where they nest must continue to be protected. In addition, measures must be taken to prevent further loss and degradation of marine habitat from pollution, coastal development, and offshore oil and gas development.
If you are fortunate enough to see a mama turtle, here are some simple rules to follow:
There are many things individuals can do to help loggerheads survive.
During the nesting process, the female Loggerhead appears to be crying with liquid flowing from her eyes. This "crying" serves two very useful purposes:
Typically the mama loggerheads begin nesting the second week of May. The past two years they have begun on Mother's Day weekend!
Generally the hatchlings emerge from the nest fifty-five to sixty-five days after the eggs were laid.
Not really. However, warm sand produces mostly females and these eggs hatch in the shortest time. Cooler sand produces mainly males and the eggs take longer to hatch.
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