Sea turtles are long-lived reptiles adapted to living in the world’s oceans.  They have evolved specializations to aid in their swimming lifestyles such as streamlined bodies and paddle-like flippers.  Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water making long migrations, feeding, and mating.  The diet of sea turtles is varied and includes jellyfish, crustaceans, squid, and sea grasses.   Female turtles come ashore on beaches to lay clutches of eggs, usually multiple times during a nesting season.  Upon emerging from the nest, hatchlings must find their way to the sea.  All species of sea turtle are protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  Threats facing sea turtles include loss of suitable nesting and foraging habitats, artificial lighting, pollution, poaching, incidental capture in fisheries, boat strikes, and disease.  Current conservation and management efforts focus on establishing wildlife refuges, reducing incidental bycatch by fisheries, beachfront lighting management, and nest protection.















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