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Facts on Loggerhead Sea Turtles

| Updated September 26, 2017

The loggerhead sea turtle is found in many regions around the world. With its large head and distinctive markings, it is a turtle that stands out from others in the sea. And, because loggerheads frequent shallow water, boaters, those who fish and those who spend time at the beach in certain areas will often see these sea turtles.


The loggerhead sea turtle is easily differentiated from other sea turtles because of its unusually large head and very large jaw. The large head is disproportionate to the rest of the turtle's body, which usually features a red or brown shell, from which its yellow skin extends.


The loggerhead's size is notable, because it is very large when compared to other sea turtles. Loggerhead sea turtles can grow up to 3 1/2 feet long and weigh in at more than 800 lbs. Average weight for the turtles is around 250 lbs. While large as adults, loggerhead sea turtles start out very small, at just 1 4/5 inches long and weighing only .04 lbs.


The large head and jaw of the loggerhead sea turtles allow them to feed on many different things. The turtles regularly feed on fish, shrimp, clams, lobster, crab and mussels. Their jaws are vise-like, allowing them to bite into even the hardest-shelled sea creatures without a problem. Loggerheads usually feed around shipwrecks, coral reefs and rock crevices.


The loggerhead sea turtle is found in temperate and tropical regions around the world, including areas of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The species likes shallow waters and will often be found in ship canals, bays, lagoons, creeks and salt marshes.


Because loggerhead sea turtles like shallow waters, they often come in contact with the boats. While boat accidents are a major cause of death and injuries to loggerheads, the bigger threat to the turtles is fishing lines and nets. Loggerheads often get caught up in shrimp nets, and by the time they are found, they cannot be saved. Because of these vulnerabilities, the loggerhead is now under a protected status in an attempt to stop the steady decline of its population.