REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles have been around for 95 million years. Their ancestors were giant land turtles that entered the sea ages ago when the great dinosaurs lived. The first sea turtles looked little like those of today. It took millions of years for sea turtles to change, for legs to become pad-shaped flippers and for heavy, bulky bodies to flatten into lighter, streamlined shapes. The dinosaurs and the giant land turtles are gone forever; we can see only their fossil bones in museums. But, somehow, sea turtles have lived on.

Seven different kinds still swim in warm and temperate oceans around the world. They spend their whole lives in the water except for the brief times the females come onto land to nest and lay their eggs. The sea turtles share the sea with fish, whales, other sea creatures and you and me. In the seas surrounding Turkey, two species of sea turtles live: Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) and Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas).