- SEA LIFE, Turtle Sanctuary
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 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.
Meet Josie, Sharky and Gumbo
They came to us from the Florida Turtle Hospital after being treated for injuries sustained after being hit by boats in the wild. You'll notice they have weights attached to their shells to help balance them as they swim. Find out more about their personalities and injuries at the 12.30pm and 3pm talk.
Did you know?
- 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!
- When they are young, Green Sea Turtles feed on Crabs, Sponges and Jellyfish. However, adults become completely herbivorous; Eating only seagrass and algae which turns the fat inside their body bright green! That’s how they got their name.
Rescue, rehabilitate and release
SEA LIFE rescues, rehabilitates and releases many Sea Turtles each year which have been injured or lost their way.
Plastic bags are deadly to Sea Turtles which often mistaking them for their favourite food, Jellyfish, and choke on them.
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 have been rescued from 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.