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Turtles

  • SEA LIFE, Day & Night Ocean Experience

Turtles are ancient reptiles that have been around for over 200 million years!

Meaning they shared our planet with the earliest Dinosaurs.

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

Green Sea Turtle Swimming at SEA LIFE Brighton

Green Sea Turtles

Turtles are reptiles. 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.

The pair of green sea turtles at SEA LIFE Brighton

Meet 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 around 78 years old!

 

Pig nosed turtle at SEA LIFE Brighton

Meet Herman our Pig Nosed Turtle

  • Herman is ancient. Not him exactly, but his species have no close relatives, and his ancestors outlived the dinosaurs! This makes him a living fossil. 
  • Herman was donated to us after he outgrew his tank and was given to us to look after. We don’t mind. He’s a very nice Turtle although he doesn't like other turtles. He eats vegetation and will occasionally eat cockles, large shrimps and pellets.
  • The Pig Nosed Turtle is the only freshwater turtle, which has flippers in the place of feet! They have sharp claws and are very strong.
  • Unbelievably, the eggs of this turtle hatch underwater.
Small Turtle

Baby Green Sea Turtles

  • 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!
  • A Green Sea Turtles body fat is bright green! This is because they eat only seagrass and algae and are completely herbivorous as adults. Its how they got their name. Baby Green Sea Turtles, on the other hand, eat Crabs, Sponges and Jellyfish.

Red Earred Terrapin

Terrapins

When you visit you'll come face to face with our Terrapin Turtles! Get up really close and personal with our terrapins by crawling underneath and saying hello through a special double viewing bubble.

Girl with turtles

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.

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 have been rescued from people who couldn't look after them anymore.

Plastic Bag

Plastic bags

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

Green sea turtles at SEA LIFE Brighton

Rescue, rehabilitate and release

SEA LIFE rescues, rehabilitates and releases many Sea Turtles each year which have been injured or lost their way. 

Find out more