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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. 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.

  • SEA LIFE, Ocean Tunnel
Green Sea Turtle

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 ‘Dive Discovery’ at SEA LIFE London!

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.

Green Sea Turtle

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.

If you visit us towards the end of they day you might spot our Turtles, Boris and Phoenix, settling down to sleep on top of the glass tunnel.

Small Turtle

Temperature of the sand

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!


Rescue, rehabilitate and release

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!

Plastic Bag

Plastic bags

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

Red Earred Terrapin


When you visit you'll come face to face with our Red Eared and Yellow Bellied Terrapins!

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.

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.