Name _______________________________________ Date ___________________
Sea Turtle, Inc.
Sea turtles are cold-blooded animals, they are called ____________ . Their activity depends on the _______________ of their environment. Turtles do not have teeth,
but they do have ___________ just like birds. They have evolved over 150 million years, and have adapted to living 99.9% of their life in the _________. Their streamlined bodies make them fast swimmers, however, because of this they are unable to retract their heads or limbs into their shell. Their top _____________ or carapace is made up of fused ribs which are attached to their vertebrae or backbone.
Sea turtles use sexual reproduction. Eggs are _____________ by sperm within the female’s oviducts before they develop shells. A sea turtle’s egg is usually the size of a ping pong ball. Nesting females will lay their leathery eggs in the sand. Sea turtles lay an average number of eggs per species. What is the maximum (______) and what is the minimum number of eggs (_____) that can be laid in a single nest? The incubation time for an egg to hatch varies from species to species. What is the longest (____) and shortest (_____) incubation time. During incubation the developing embryo feeds off the ____________ within the egg. The gender of the developing embryo depends upon the _______________ of the sand. Hotter temperatures will produce mostly _________ whereas cooler temperatures produce mostly ____________.
Hatchlings possess a _____ ________ which it uses to break through the egg shell. Once hatched, the young turtle digs its way out of the nest cavity and makes its way to the __________. Along the way, hatchlings will smell and taste the sand in order to ___________or memorize it’s characteristics. Once they reach maturity, if female, they will return to the same beach from which they hatched to lay their eggs. In the ocean their natural predators will be ______________, sea gulls and other large fish. All sea turtle species became severely depleted due to over harvesting of the females for their meat, leather, shells, and eggs. _________ has caused most species to become endangered because of over-harvesting.
Of the five sea turtle species found in the Gulf of Mexico the ___________ ____________is considered to be the smallest and most endangered. The ____________________ is the largest sea turtle, often obtaining a weight of 1,500 pounds. This species feeds primarily on jelly fish. Another species found in the Gulf of Mexico is the _________ ___________, a herbivore, because it feeds primarily on sea grasses. The ____________ is considered to be the most beautiful sea turtle because of its shell which is used to make jewelry. It forages around coral reefs and feeds primarily on sea _____________. Finally, the most common species found along the Florida coast is the _________________ . It feeds primarily on clams and other mollusks.