Sea Turtles Underwater

Earlier we looked at land based turtles and tortoise. The two most commonly found sea turtles that I have watched in the waters around Florida are the Green and the Hawksbill. They are very similar in their habitat, behavior, size, shape and coloration. For me, the distinguishing characteristic most easily spotted is the shape of their jaws. The Hawksbill turtle has the shape reminiscent of a bird with a prominent point to the upper jaw while the Green is quite rounded. There are other characteristics but they are not so obvious. I’ve seen both types swimming about in the off shore reefs of Florida and other parts of the Caribbean. These animals seem mysterious. Unless you are truly intent on watching them as they come ashore for egg laying you would not have any contact with them. The only other way to learn about them is to go underwater to look at them in their environment. They are very benign, are relatively solitary and photographing them can be very rewarding.

Green Sea turtle
Green turtle eating algae off of coral head
Hawksbill turtle
Hawksbill turtle rummaging about the coral head looking to sponge a lunch
This Green was resting under a rocky ledge. Turtles are air breathers however I have never seem them breach the surface to do that.
Green friends with benefits
Hey John! Let’s do a selfie! (Photos from Isbister)
Smile … Good work John! You got my best side. I like the white balance, composition and framing. Email a copy to me. I want it for my Facebook page.

The turtles are critically important for the health of the reef. The Greens eat the algae and sea grass, and Hawksbills eat sponges which would otherwise over grow the reefs. The Hawksbilled is endangered and the Green is threatened. There are many authorities who have written scholarly articles in juried publications.

Good resource for general information include Sea Turtle facts and the environmental importance in Oceania.

#turtles #Hawksbill #Green #sea turtles #Caribbean

4 thoughts on “Sea Turtles Underwater

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    1. Nick, Thank you for the complement. I think that NatGeo publishes superb photographs. All of the photos on my blog are original unless otherwise credited and with the permission of the author.

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    1. Yes. There is so much more diversity in the ocean then on land! I think that because it is less familiar I tend to look more closely at the marine life . The turtles are busy and attract lots of my attention.

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