July 22, 2018
One reason that people have misconceptions about turtle life spans is that some people confuse the species and subspecies.
Turtle is a term for species in the testudine group which includes turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.
Sea turtles are in the turtle group and include the turtles that live in mostly or entirely ocean environments.
Sadly, sea turtles are particularly unlikely to live so long due to all the threats from commercial fishing and other threats coming from humans.
With turtle studies being newer than some marine sciences, it is hard for scientists to be sure how long sea turtles would live if they weren’t subject to so many outside influences.
We do know that today, 80-100 years is considered average for sea turtles and some have lived up to 150 years or more.
The average life span of turtles will decrease rapidly if commercial and residential threats from humans continue at the rate they are now.
Turtles often don’t make it out of the hatchling stage.
For some turtle breeds, the temperature of the eggs makes a difference in gender, so changes in our weather patterns could cause a major shift in turtle populations.
There must be a balance of males and females to have a balanced sea turtle population.
Sea turtles are threatened by so much since they must live in their natural environments for optimum health.
Adult sea turtles get caught in nets and other fishing gear, are poached for their meat and shells and are killed by pollution.
Female sea turtles sometimes return to their beaches to find no space left for nests due to humans taking over the beaches for housing and recreation.
With all of these threats, sea turtles may soon have much shorter life spans than they do now, and we may never know how long they could live in an ideal setting.
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