Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerheads are the most abundant sea turtle species found in U.S. Atlantic coastal waters. In Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, they’re often spotted resting and foraging. They get their name for their large, muscular heads, which help them feed on hard-shelled prey like whelks. Lucky for them, invertebrates are in abundance at Gray’s Reef!
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Caretta caretta
DIET: Invertebrates like crabs, sea urchins, and jellyfish
LENGTH: Average 3 feet
WEIGHT: Average 250 pounds
LIFE SPAN: Unknown, possibly 50+ years
THREATS: Bycatch in fishing gear, nesting habitat degradation, vessel strikes, entanglement in marine debris
FUN FACT: Loggerheads are the largest hard-shelled turtle in the world.