On March 6, Siren Jessica did a presentation on Sea Turtle Nesting at Force-E Scuba Center in Boca Raton. The night started out with the life cycle of a sea turtle. Jessica explained that sea turtles will return to the beach they were born at to nest their eggs and she explained the difference in crawl patterns you might see in the sand that helps identify which species nested in that area. Jessica then explained the identification of each species of sea turtles that are found in Florida. There are 7 species worldwide and here in Florida we see 5 of them and 3 of them nest on our beaches.
The leatherback turtle is the largest sea turtle and it lives most of its life in open ocean. Not much is known about the leatherback lifespan but they estimate 30 years or more. They feed on jellyfish which in turn helps control the population of jellyfish globally. These are the first turtles to start nesting in Florida.
Next are the Loggerhead sea turtles which nest on Florida beaches, and last year we had a record amount of nests recorded by this species. Loggerheads gets their name because of their large head and they very powerful jaws to crack open and eat bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
While the loggerheads are nesting the Green sea turtles also come up onto the beach and lay their eggs. The green sea turtle is known as the “pretty” sea turtle because of their shell coloration and because they scrap barnacles off their shells.
Jessica recording nesting data
jessica diving with Loggerhead turtle
Jessica’s presentation was very informative and she did a great job explaining why sea turtles are important to protect. She had a crowd of 40 people listening to her speak and all walked away with some knowledge and respect for sea turtles….way to go Jessica!