Quick guide to the Sea turtles of Mexico – Part 1
Loggerhead Caretta caretta
Description: Head is very large with heavy strong jaws. Carapace is bony without ridges and has large and rough scutes present with 5 lateral scute. Front flippers are short and thick with 2 claws, while the rear flippers can have 2 or 3 claws. Carapace is a reddish-brown with a yellowish-brown plastron. Hatchlings have a dark-brown carapace with flippers pale brown on margins.
Adults size average: 3.9 feet (120 cms)
Adults weigh average: 330 pounds (150 kg)
Diet: Primarily carnivorous and feed mostly on shellfish that live on the bottom of the ocean. They eat crustaceans, fishes, clams, mussels, and other invertebrates. Their powerful jaw muscles help them to easily crush the shellfish.
Habitat in Mexico: Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribean Sea.
Nesting: Nest at intervals of 2 years. They lay 1 to 5 nests per season, approximately 12 to 14 days apart. Lays an average of 100 to 126 eggs per nest. Eggs incubate for about 58-60 days.
Red List of Threatened Species of IUCN Status: Listed as Vulnerable to the extinction and decreasing number of mature individuals.
Threats to Survival: The greatest threat is loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, predation of nests, and human disturbances (such as coastal lighting and housing developments) that cause disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings. Other major threats include incidental capture in longline fishing, shrimp trawling and pollution. Incidental capture in fisheries is thought to have
played a significant role in the recent population declines observed for the loggerhead.
Population Estimate: 40,000 – 50,000 nesting females.
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- Sea Turtles guide