16 photos - 4 species


Every year, thousands of sea turtles die miserably because they mistake plastic bags, millions of which are floating in the oceans,

for jellyfish and become entangled in drifting ghost nets.

There are six or seven species of sea turtles,

which belong to five genera.

Sea turtles inhabit all tropical and subtropical marine areas

and spend their entire lives in the water except for laying their eggs.

The first sea turtles probably evolved from land-based turtles

around 200 million years ago.

Sea turtles feed on cephalopods, crustaceans and jellyfish,

which they hunt during their long dives.

Caretta caretta

Loggerhead sea turtle

Maximum length: 1.2 m

Depth: 0 - 200 m

They are often observed sleeping on the reef.

They have a large bulbous head and a bulky, somewhat humped reddish-brown dorsal carapace.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Chelonia mydas

Green sea turtle, Green turtle, Black ( sea ) turtle

or Pacific green turtle

Maximum length: 120 cm

Depth: 1 - 200 m

Their name does not refer to the colour of their carapace,

but to the colour of their fatty tissue.

Their carapace is brown to dark brown, occasionally with an olive tint.

They have only one pair of shields between their eyes. 

They can reach a weight of up to 200 kg.

Not shy, they let you get very close to them if you move slowly.

Photo 1 Johnny: El Qesir Egypt

Photos 2 - 5 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines

Photos 6 - 9 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Photo 10 Astrid: Moalboal Philippines

Emys orbicularis

European pond turtle, European pond terrapin

or European pond tortoise

Maximum size: depending on the subspecies and sex,

a dorsal carapace length of less than 12 centimetres or more than 20 centimetres.

It is a carnivorous and predominantly aquatic turtle.

It is the only species that occurs naturally - albeit rarely - in Central Europe (including Germany).

In Germany it is threatened with extinction.

At Sealife in Oberhausen, they are being reared in co-operation

with NABU Rheinland Pfalz in order to reintroduce them at a size of approx. 10 cm. 

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Eretmochelys imbricata

Hawksbill sea turtle

Maximum length: 1.2 m

Depth: 0 - 300 m

Two pairs of frontal shields, the upper half of the bill protrudes.

The dorsal shields overlap, often with a serrated edge.

Threatened by worldwide persecution: Hunting, tortoiseshell trade and drift netting.

Photos 1 - 4 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines