Sea turtles are amazing creatures but did you know that many of them are on the endangered species list? June 16th is World Sea Turtle Day, celebrated by learning a little more about these amazing creatures with these books and facts. 

Sea Turtle Facts

  • There are seven different species of sea turtles in the world.

    • Hawksbill
    • Green
    • Flatback
    • Loggerhead
    • Kemp‘s Ridley
    • Olive Ridley 
    • Leatherback
  • Sea turtles belong to the reptile family. They spend all their lives in the ocean, only coming on land to lay eggs.
  • The largest sea turtle ever found weighed over 2,000 pounds.
  • The green sea turtles’ beak is jagged like the edges of a saw to help them rip seagrasses.
  • Baby sea turtles sleep floating on the surface of the water with their fins behind their back. Adult sea turtles sleep on the bottom of the ocean by wedging themselves under rock ledges.
  • Sea turtles can become very large, varying in size from two feet to six feet long, depending on their species. With their large size comes a large diet. An adult hawksbill sea turtle eats 1,200 pounds of sponges a year.
  • Loggerhead sea turtles get their name from their large head size. They have powerful jaws for cracking hard-shelled prey like whelks and conchs.
  • Land turtles and tortoises can tuck their head and flippers into their shell however sea turtles cannot. Their streamlined shells and large paddle-shaped flippers make them fast and graceful swimmers. In the water, their rear flippers are used as rudders for steering.
  • A sea turtle’s diet depends significantly on its environment and what is available, but it will pretty much eat anything. All sea turtle species are known to eat jellyfish. Still, each species focuses on different prey for food. Leatherback turtles eat mostly jellyfish, green sea turtles primarily eat seagrass, loggerheads prefer crustaceans, and hawksbills eat sea sponges primarily.
  • Sea turtles can live up to 150 years, depending on the species. Scientists think their long life span is related to their low metabolism.

Want to learn more about Sea Turtles? Check out these awesome books! 

Sea Turtles by Mara Grunbaum

Nature’s Children series provides young readers (Ages 8-10) with fascinating information about the planet’s most incredible wildlife species. This is a great Introduction to sea turtles for young readers. 

Sea Turtles: Ocean Nomads by Mary M. Cerullo 

Presents information on the physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, various species, and life cycle of sea turtles, along with a discussion of their endangered status and the efforts being made to study and conserve them.

Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbons

Describes the eight kinds of sea turtles, their physical characteristics, senses, how they feed, migrate, and nest, and what is being done to protect them.

Yoshi, a loggerhead sea turtle, was injured and rescued by a fisherman who took her to the Two Oceans Aquarium in South Africa for rehabilitation. After twenty years, Yoshi was returned to the sea and traveled nearly 23,000 miles over three years back to what is believed to be her birthplace.

Janeen Mason introduces young readers to the endangered loggerhead sea turtle and offers a glossary, enforcing new vocabulary relevant to the aquatic environment.

Describes efforts to protect sea turtles, particularly Kemp’s ridley turtles, and help them reproduce and replenish their once-dwindling numbers.

Oceanarium by Loveday Trinick

This book guides readers around the world’s oceans, from sandy shorelines to the darkest depths. Learn about the ocean’s most fascinating animals, including giant whale sharks, tiny tropical fish, and majestic manatees, among many other creatures. With expert text by marine biologist Loveday Trinick and accompanying illustrations, travel the world from frozen Arctic seas to shimmering coral reefs, and learn why it is so important that we protect our oceans.

Turtles by Julie Murray

This book introduces readers to the unique features of turtles. Basic information is covered, such as habitat, life cycle, range, diet, and threats.

Green Sea Turtle Migration by Rebecca Hirsch

Explains how green sea turtles live and grow; discusses their migration, its purpose, and its route; and lists threats green sea SA turtles may face on their migration.

This is an in-depth look at chelonians, the shelled reptiles that have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. Features: a fascinating fact-filled journey through the amazing world of turtles, tortoises and terrapins; looks at all the most weird and wonderful species, from those with necks like snakes and noses like pigs to those with shells as flat as pancakes.

Sea Turtles by Kate Riggs

A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of sea turtles, the migrating shelled reptiles. Also included is a story from folklore explaining how sea turtles cause monsoons.

Hawai’i Sea Turtle Rescue by James O. Fraioli

Junior explorers Baylor and Bianca join Fabien Cousteau and local conservationists in Hawaii on their mission to rescue endangered sea turtles, while also encountering a variety of wildlife among the coral reefs of Molokini Bay.

A newborn loggerhead turtle pops out of its shell to join the rest of the hatchlings as they make their very first journey from glistening beach to shimmering sea. Follow these cute little turtles as they embark on a unique and exciting adventure and discover the beauty and dangers of their brand-new world.

Sea Turtle Scientist by Stephen R. Swinburne

Join the renowned author and photographer Steve Swinburne on a journey through history to learn how sea turtles came to be endangered, and what scientists like Kimberly are doing to save them.

Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau

A triumphant story of environmental activism, community, and friendship. Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast.