Turtles

Turtles are ancient reptiles that have been around for over 200 million years! They shared our planet with the earliest Dinosaurs.

There are over 300 species of Turtle in our oceans and rivers today and some are critically endangered! They are hunted for their beautiful shells and eggs, and often caught in fishing nets or plastic litter.

Scroll down to find out more about SEA LIFE Brighton’s Sea Turtles and Terrapins!

Green Sea Turtles

Adult Green Sea Turtles can be found in subtropical and tropical seas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean… and right here in our ‘Tropical Ocean’ at SEA LIFE Brighton!

When they are young, Green Sea Turtles feed on Crabs, Sponges and Jellyfish. However adults become completely herbivorous; Eating only sea grass and algae which turns the fat inside their body bright green! That’s how they got their name.

Turtles are reptiles so they have to breathe air and are often seen coming to the surface to fill their lungs. They can hold their breath for many hours at a time if they are not stressed, for example when they go to sleep.

Meet our green turtles Lulu and Gulliver. Lulu is our biggest resident and weighs in at a whopping 28 stone. That’s huge! Mind you, she’s had plenty of time to get to that size - Lulu and Gulliver are 76 years old.

 

Plastic bags are deadly to Sea Turtles which often mistaking them for their favorite food, Jellyfish, and choke on them.

SEA LIFE rescues, rehabilitates and releases many Sea Turtles each year which have been injured or lost their way. Turtle Watch allows you to see what happens to these turtles once they are tagged and released!

The temperature of the sand in which a Sea Turtle's eggs are buried, determines what gender they will be. If it's warmer they'll be girls, cooler and they'll be boys!

Plastic bags are deadly to Sea Turtles which often mistaking them for their favorite food, Jellyfish, and choke on them.

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Plastic bags are deadly to Sea Turtles which often mistaking them for their favorite food, Jellyfish, and choke on them.

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next

SEA LIFE rescues, rehabilitates and releases many Sea Turtles each year which have been injured or lost their way. Turtle Watch allows you to see what happens to these turtles once they are tagged and released!

prev
next

SEA LIFE rescues, rehabilitates and releases many Sea Turtles each year which have been injured or lost their way. Turtle Watch allows you to see what happens to these turtles once they are tagged and released!

prev
next

The temperature of the sand in which a Sea Turtle's eggs are buried, determines what gender they will be. If it's warmer they'll be girls, cooler and they'll be boys!

prev
next

The temperature of the sand in which a Sea Turtle's eggs are buried, determines what gender they will be. If it's warmer they'll be girls, cooler and they'll be boys!

prev
next

Terrapins

Get up really close and personal with our terrapins by crawling underneath and saying hello through a special double viewing bubble.

Terrapins are often bought when they are very small and cute, but they aren't ideal pets: They need lots of varied food, a heat lamp for sunbathing, lots of water for swimming and they can live for over 40 years! In fact all of our Terrapins were donated by people who could no longer care for their pets and we've run out of room.

Boy or girl? It's easy to tell! Look for the smallest Terrapins with the longest claws, those are the boys. Males sometimes swim in front of the females, who are much larger than them, and wiggle their long claws in the ladies faces to try and impress them.

 

Pig Nosed Turtle

One of the oldest creatures anywhere is Herman, our Pig Nosed Turtle (Flyriver Turtle). When we say oldest we don’t mean that Herman is ancient, we mean that his species has no close taxonomic relatives. His ancestors survived the dinosaurs’ extinction and that makes him a living fossil. We are truly honoured.

Herman came to us through a private donation. He outgrew his tank and was given to us to look after. We don’t mind. He’s a very nice Turtle although he can be very aggressive if we put other turtles with him. He eats vegetation and will occasionally eat cockles, large shrimps and pellets.

The Pig Nosed Turtle is the only freshwater Chelonian (tortoises, terrapins and turtles), which has flippers in the place of feet! They have sharp claws and are very strong. Unbelievably, the eggs of this turtle hatch underwater.