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Turtles, The Great 8, Southern Great Barrier Reef
Turtles of The Great 8, The Southern Great Barrier Reef’s must see marine animals.
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Sea Turtles have a characteristic large shell called a carapace, four strong flippers and lungs for breathing air. They also have a pointed sharp beak-like mouth used for crushing their food.
Sea turtles are known for their ability to travel thousands of kilometres between their nesting locations and feeding sites.
Six of the world’s seven sea turtles can be found cruising the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The most commonly sighted sea turtles of the Great Barrier Reef are green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles.
Female turtles take between 30 and 50 years before they commence breeding. Then they breed every 2 – 8 years.
Female sea turtles always return to the same area to nest. Some females found on the Great Barrier Reef are thought to have travelled from places such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and New Caledonia.
Depending on the species, sea turtles lay between 50 – 100 eggs at a time and during nesting season females may lay multiple clutches.
Between January and April, thousands of tiny “hatchlings” can be seen along the shores of Islands and the coastline scurrying from nests in the dunes down into the water where they commence their lives.