This free sea turtles unit study will be your one-stop for all things turtles! I have compiled some interesting facts, species types, habitats, and more! Be sure to bookmark this page and snag the Sea Turtles Workbook at the end (it’s FREE)!
All About Sea Turtles
There are seven living species of sea turtles in our oceans. The seven species are Leatherback, Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Flatback, Hawksbill, Kemps Ridley, and Olive Ridley. Leatherback turtles are the largest of the seven species. They can weigh between 500lbs- 1000lbs on average.
Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle
Interestingly enough, female sea turtles lay their eggs in nests on beaches. The eggs in one nest are called a clutch. On average, a sea turtle can lay 100 eggs in the nest and can have more than 1 nest in a nesting season. Eggs will generally take 40-60 days to hatch.
A baby turtle is called a hatchling. Hatchlings know how to head into the ocean because the natural light on the beach guides them. They are phototactic. This is a fancy way of saying the movement of an organism away from or toward a source of light.
Anatomy of a Sea Turtle
Just like the rest of creation, sea turtles have a unique anatomy that caters to the type of creatures they are. Since they spend time on both land and in water, they need bodies that can help them be adaptable in both places. An interesting fact is sea turtles are one of the few creatures to have both an internal and external skeleton.
The internal skeleton is meant to provide an anchor for all of the turtles’ muscles. The long digits in the limbs of the turtle are fused together to form the flipper. Although these flippers are large and play a big role in helping the turtle swim, they are sensitive to touch.
Sea turtles do not have any teeth in their mouths. Instead, they have sharp and beak-like mouths/jaws that are well-suited for crushing or tearing their food. The eyes of sea turtles provide them with good underwater vision. Although turtles do not have ears, they are capable of perceiving low-frequency sounds and vibrations. Females have short tails whereas males have longer ones.
What do sea turtles actually look like?
The pictures below will help you identify the different types of sea turtles.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbills are named for their narrow, pointed beak. They also have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated look on the edges.
They are found mainly throughout the world’s tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs and feed mainly on sponges.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
The loggerhead sea turtle is a species of oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm in carapace length when fully grown.
The largest of all hard-shelled turtles, loggerheads are named for their massive heads and strong jaws.
Green Sea Turtle
The green sea turtle is also known as the green turtle, black turtle, or Pacific green turtle. This turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and the only herbivore among the different species. Green turtles are not names for the color of their shells but for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat.
Leatherback Sea Turtle
The leatherback sea turtle is sometimes called the lute turtle, leathery turtle, or simply the luth. It is the largest of all living turtles and the heaviest non-crocodilian reptile. They are one of the most migratory creatures, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Free Sea Turtles Study Workbook
As I mentioned before, I have a free Sea Turtles Study Workbook for you. This 15+ page resource puts a lot of the information above in printable form for you to easily teach your children about these amazing sea creatures. From anatomy and life cycle to information cards and word search puzzles, this pack has all you need!
Simply click the button below to download and print!
Looking for more information about sea turtles? Click here!