SEA TURTLES

 

SEA TURTLES

 

Of the seven species of marine turtles worldwide, Mozambique is home to five species; Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea).

Marine turtles are reptiles and can be  uniquely  identified  by  their  facial  scales.  These

marine reptiles have survived 100 million years! In Mozambique, nesting occurs  between

November and May and females return regularly to the  same  nesting  where  they  were

born to lay their eggs. A female can lay between 400  and  800  eggs  per  season,  which

incubate  for  5-8  weeks  before  hatching,  but  less  than  one  hatchling  will  survive  to

adulthood due to human pressures that are affecting their populations. 

The  most  common  turtles  in  the  Tofo  area are the Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead

turtles  which  are  mainly  encountered  on  dives.  Occasionally, these can also be seen

breathing  at  the surface during our Ocean/Bio safaris. Green turtles have variable sizes,

the  smallest  ones  that inhabit local reefs being about 40 cm in shell length. As juveniles

they are omnivorous but  as  they  mature  they  feed  on  sea  grass  and  macro - algae,

becoming a fundamental link in marine ecosystems by helping maintain the health of sea

grass beds and coral reefs. Loggerhead turtles are curious and will often  come  in  close

proximity of divers. Their average size is approximately 1 meter in shell length.  Hawksbill

turtles are specialist feeders of sea sponges, providing space availability for corals and

algae to settle and colonise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT AN ENCOUNTER WITH MARINE TURTLES CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR OCEAN SAFARI OR DIVE!! This is what makes the wild so special; every day is just unique!

Species Distribution

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Praia do Tofo - Mozambique

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