5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them

5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them | Sunset Vacations

With the northern hemisphere well into spring, it is that time of year when sea turtles return to their nesting grounds to lay eggs and bring new generations of sea turtles into the world. It is a time of year loved by many marine and animal lovers who jump at the opportunity to protect, help, and assist this amazing natural process that has been going on for millions of years! 

In this blog, we’ll cover some lesser-known facts about sea turtles and some fantastic ways you can help save, protect, and maybe even watch the incredible journey for yourself! If you’ve always wanted to see baby sea turtles, this is the time of year to come to Sunset Beach, NC, and rent a vacation rental to check that off your bucket list!

Sunset Beach is home to five of the seven species of sea turtles and is a great place to have a spring or summer vacation. You can join in on turtle watch programs while on vacation and give back to the community in numerous ways. Keep reading to learn more facts and see how you can help!

5 Lesser-Known Facts About Sea Turtles

Super Swimmers

Sea turtles are great swimmers, but each species has a different speed. For instance, the green sea turtle can swim around one to six miles per hour. But if it needs to escape a predator or other disturbance, it can swim at bursts of 22 mph! Conversely, the leatherback turtle can sustain speeds of 22 mph, making it much faster than the green sea turtle.

Saltwater Sippers

Sea turtles have special glands that allow them to excrete salt water to keep their salt-to-water ratio balanced and make it look like they’re crying.

Jellyfish Delicacy

Sea turtles are herbivores meaning they will eat vegetation and other marine life. Though all species eat jellyfish, leatherbacks love them as part of their main diet. They have a special lining in their throats that help them to ingest jellyfish. Sadly, plastic bags look like jellyfish to sea turtles, which is why plastic bags are lethal to these endangered sea creatures.

Lifespan Legends

Sea turtles can live a long time. The oldest sea turtle may have lived up to 100 years, which is old for a sea turtle. Sea turtles typically live from 30 to 80 years, depending on the species.

Making the Nest

When sea turtles come ashore to dig nests for their eggs, they use their hind flippers to dig a hole in the sand. 

These special nests can be 14 to 24 inches deep. After the mother lays her eggs, she covers the nest with sand to protect them from weather, temperatures, and predators. 

Sadly, only one sea turtle out of 1,000 will survive to adulthood due to predators, artificial lighting, and pollution. It makes the conservation efforts of organizations like Sunset Beach Turtle Watch crucial.

5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them | Sunset Vacations

Ways You Can Help Save, Protect, and Watch Baby Turtles

Nesting Season

Female sea turtles start nesting in May and through October. Several species nest on Sunset Beach, including the loggerhead turtles, which are the most common. Female sea turtles will come ashore and find safe places on the shore to make their nest and lay their eggs in the warm sands.

5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them | Sunset Vacations

Nest Monitoring and Protection

Sunset Beach Turtle Watch is the only program in Sunset Beach that is allowed to protect and care for the safety and preservation of sea turtles. 

This organization handles all things related to sea turtles, including protecting their nests and taking any calls from the public about sea turtles. 

They patrol, mark nests, ensure safety from human interference and natural predators, help educate the public, and more.

Turtle Time Program and Other Learning

If you’re visiting Sunset Beach and want to learn more about sea turtles through educational talks and presentations, you can join Sunset Beach Turtle Watch on Sundays at 7 pm. If you’d like additional educational resources, go to the World Wildlife website and download fun learning activities for children in 3rd to 5th grade.

Supporting Sunset Beach Turtle Watch

If you want to support sea turtles, you can in a few ways. You can adopt a nest, adopt a sea turtle, or donate

Your support will help this incredible program continue to save and protect sea turtles. 

And adopters can receive updates on the nest’s progress, and it can be exciting to know you helped these babies have a successful life. 

Donations significantly impact the preservation of sea turtles and their habitats.

5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them | Sunset Vacations

Another Way to Help

If you can’t donate, there is still another way to help. When visiting Sunset Beach, or any other areas with sea turtle nests, follow the rules that keep the baby sea turtles safe, and encourage those you’re with to help. Avoid using artificial lights at night, stay a safe distance away, cover any holes you made or see, and remove trash and personal belongings from the beach. Minimize disturbing them as much as possible.

Sunset Beach is a gorgeous place to visit, teeming with wildlife experiences throughout the year. You can witness hatchlings make their way to the ocean and see many other species like birds, crabs, fish, and much more. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation with beautiful accommodations, browse our vacation rentals and book a vacation today!

5 Lesser-Known Fascinating Facts About Sea Turtles and How to Help Them | Sunset Vacations

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