1. Sea turtles have been around for hundreds of millions of years, while humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years.
2. Sea turtles adapted to survive in marine environments and spend almost all their lives in the ocean, except when females go ashore to lay eggs.
3. Females return to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs.
4. Turtles may reach 100 years of age if they are able to avoid predators, disease, turtle harvests (illegal in most countries) and collisions with boats.
5. There are seven species of sea turtles worldwide; green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacia), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and flatback (Natator depressa).
6. Loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles are commonly observed in park waters. Leatherback turtles may be observed, but are uncommon.
7. 90% of American loggerhead turtles and 100% of American green turtles nest in Florida.
8. The six species of sea turtles found in American waters are all listed as threatened or endangered.
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Last updated: February 16, 2017