Turtles, Sea turtlesSea turtles are endangered and the two most important reasons for this are human related. Turtle eggs are stolen from turtle nests for human consumption and also the meat of the green turtle is held to be delicious. On the beaches of the beautiful country of Costa Rica the green turtle and leatherback turtle lay their eggs. Due to poverty amongst the local people that live on the isolated beaches they became poachers of turtle eggs.
At one of the beaches at the river mouth of the Pacuare River a project for volunteers has been created with the objective of saving the turtles and improving the living conditions of the local people. This is the La Tortuga Feliz project. Over 3000 volunteers have visited the project since its start at 2004. Instead of poaching turtle eggs the local people are now official turtle guides that help the volunteers collect the turtle eggs and transport them to a guarded hatchery. Since the existence of La Tortuga Feliz over 100.000 turtles have been saved and helped to find their way to the ocean. The female turtle will return to these beaches after 15 to 25 years to lay her eggs. The volunteers helping with this turtle rescue program get one of the most exciting experiences of their lives seeing the turtle laying her eggs. So by participating in a project as the turtle saving La Tortuga Feliz the volunteers together with these beautiful sea turtles might give us a better world in the future.
The leatherback turtle is the most critically endangered of the marine turtles and is also the largest. Leatherback turtles can exceed 540 kg (1180 lbs). Unfortunately, leatherback turtle eggs are among the most desirable turtle eggs, mistakenly believed by many to have potent aphrodisiac powers. Leatherback turtles have existed in some form since the first true sea turtles evolved over 110 million years ago.
A large pair of front flippers power the turtles through the water. Like other sea turtles, the leatherback's flattened forelimbs are adapted for swimming in the open ocean. Claws are absent from both pairs of flippers. The leatherback's flippers are the largest in proportion to its body among the families of sea turtles. Leatherback's front flippers can grow up to 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) in large specimens, the largest flippers (even in comparison to its body) of any sea turtle.
Leatherback turtles are one of the deepest diving marine animals. Individuals have been recorded diving to depths as great as 1,280 metres (4,200 ft). Typical dive durations arebetween 3 and 8 minutes, with dives of 30-70 minutes occurring infrequently.
They are also the fastest-moving reptiles. The 1992 edition of theGuiness book of world records lists the leatherback turtle moving at 35.28 kilometres per hour (21.92 mph) in the
Green turtles are not actually green but take their name from the colour of their body eat. These turtles are hunted for both their eggs and their meat, which is widely held to be the most delicious of all the sea turtle species. The beaches between Parismina and Tortuguero, including the Paquare beach where Latortugafeliz is situated, are believed to be the most important Atlantic nesting grounds for these turtles. Like other sea turtles, they migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. Many islands worldwide are known as Turtle Islands due to green sea turtles nesting on their beaches. Females crawl out on beaches, dig nests and lay eggs during the night. Later, hatchlings emerge and walk into the water.
Those that reach maturity may live to age 80 in the wild. Green sea turtles migrate long distances between feeding sites and nesting sites; some swim more than 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) to reach their spawning grounds. Mature turtles often return to the exact beach from which they hatched. Females usually mate every two to four years. Males, on the other hand, visit the breeding areas every year, attempting to mate. Mating seasons vary between populations.