The olive turtle, also called the olive ridley - a small sea turtle, is now under protection because of the threat of extinction due to extermination by people and the influence of natural threats. She prefers tropical and subtropical waters of the seas and oceans, mainly the coastal part.
Description of the Olive Turtle
The color of the shell - gray olivine - corresponds to the name of this species of turtles. The color of the newly hatched turtles is black, the color of adolescents is dark gray. The shape of the carapace of turtles of this species resembles the shape of a heart, its front part is curved, and its length can reach 60 and even 70 centimeters. Four to six or more pairs of porous structure flaps are located on the lower edge of the shell of the olive tortoise, with one and the same on the other hand, about four in front, which is also a distinctive feature of this type of turtles.
It is interesting!Olive rides have flippers, which they perfectly control in the water. The head of these turtles resembles the shape of a triangle when viewed from the front, the head has flatness on the sides. They can reach body lengths up to 80 centimeters, and weights up to 50 kilograms.
But males and females have differences in which they can be distinguished: males are more massive unlike females, their jaws are larger, the plastron is concave, the tail is thicker and visible from under the carapace. Females are inferior in size to males, and their tail is always hidden.
Olive ridley, like all turtles, leads a calm measured mode of life, does not differ in constant activity and fussiness. Only in the morning she takes care of finding food for herself, and during the day she drifts calmly on the surface of the water. A flocking instinct is developed in these turtles - straying into a large livestock they retain heat so as not to undergo hypothermia in sea and ocean waters. They shun potential danger and are ready to avoid it at any time.
On the life path of these reptiles, many dangers and threats arise, which only the most adapted individuals can overcome. But those adroit, enduring lucky ones may have the opportunity to live a relatively long life - about 70 years.
Ridley can be found both at the edge of the ocean, and in its open spaces. But the coastal zones of the tropical latitudes of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, the shores of South Africa, New Zealand or Australia from the south, as well as Japan, Micronesia and Saudi Arabia from the north - its usual habitat.
It is interesting! In the Pacific Ocean, this species of turtles can be found, starting from the Galapagos Islands and ending with the coastal waters of California.
The Atlantic Ocean is not included in the territory of the olive turtle and is inhabited by its relative - a shallow Atlantic ridge, with the exception of the coastal waters of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and northern Brazil, as well as the Caribbean Sea, where the ridge can be found even near Puerto Rico. She lives in the deep ocean and sea waters, where she can sink to a distance of up to 160 m.
Olive Turtle Eating
The olive turtle is omnivorous, but prefers food of animal origin. The usual diet of olive ridley consists of small representatives of marine and oceanic fauna, which it catches in shallow water (mollusks, fish fry and others). She does not disdain and jellyfish, crabs. But she can readily eat algae or other plant foods, or even try new types of food, including waste that is thrown into the water by humans.
Breeding and offspring
When the tortoise reaches a body size of 60 centimeters, we can talk about its sexual maturity. The mating season begins on all representatives of this species in different ways, depending on the place of mating. The mating process itself takes place in the vast expanses of water, but baby turtles are born on land.
To do this, representatives of this species of turtles arrive on the coast of North America, India, Australia in order to lay eggs - they were born here at one time and now strive to give life to their own offspring. At the same time, it is surprising that olive turtles swim for breeding to the same place throughout their entire life cycle, and all together on the same day.
This feature is called “arribida”, the term translated from Spanish as “coming”. It is also noteworthy that the beach - the place of its birth - the turtle accurately determines, even if it has never been here after its birth.
It is interesting!There is an assumption that the Earth’s magnetic field serves as a guide; on another hunch
A female olive ridley with its hind legs rakes sand to a depth of about 35 centimeters and lays about 100 eggs there, then makes this place inconspicuous for predators, throwing it with sand and trampling it. Then, considering her mission to reproduce offspring accomplished, she goes to the ocean, on the way back to her permanent habitat. At the same time, the offspring become left to their own devices and the will of fate.
It is interesting! A fact influencing the fate of small turtles is the ambient temperature, the level of which will determine the sex of the future reptile: in cold sand, most male cubs are born, in warm (more than 30 C0) - female.
In the future, young olive turtles themselves will have to, after an incubation period of about 45-51 days, hatching from eggs and being guided only by the instinct laid in them by nature, get to the saving waters of the ocean - the natural habitat of these wonderful animals. Turtles do this under cover of night, fearing predators.
They pierce the shell with a special egg tooth, and then make their way through the sand outward, rushing to the water. Both on land and in the ocean, many predators are waiting for them, so olive turtles survive in very small quantities until adulthood, which prevents the rapid restoration of the abundance of this species.
Enemies of the Olive Turtle
While still in an embryonic state, the turtle runs the risk of encountering its enemies in nature such as coyotes, wild boars, dogs, crows, vultures, which can ruin the clutch. With the same ease, these predators, as well as snakes, frigates, can attack already hatched Ridley children. In the ocean of small turtles, danger lies in wait: sharks and other predators.
Population, species protection
Olive ridley in need of protection, listed in the World Red Book. The danger of the population is created by poaching, that is, illegal catching of both adults and egg-laying. Often, riddles become victims of a newfangled trend - restaurants include dishes from the meat of these reptiles in their menu, which are in demand among visitors. Frequent hit of the readley in the network of fishermen does not contribute to the increase in the population, after which they simply die.
It is interesting! In order to avoid causing damage to this species, fishermen switched to using special nets safe for turtles, which helped to sharply reduce the percentage of death of the ridley.
Given the fact that the replenishment of this species with new individuals is very slow due to the presence of other, natural causes existing in nature, we should talk about the serious vulnerability of representatives of olive turtles. Of the natural threats, it is worth highlighting the significant influence of predators on the final result and the number of broods, as well as the condition of masonry sites, subject to the influence of natural disasters and anthropogenic factors.
Another danger can be a person who carries out purposeful collection of eggs of these turtles, which is permitted in some countries, as well as poaching for the extraction of eggs, meat, skin or tortoise shell. Human pollution of the world's oceans can also cause significant harm to the population of these reptiles: various debris drifting through the expanses of water can serve as food for this curious turtle and do its poor service.
It is interesting! In India, in order to prevent eggs from being eaten by predators, they resort to the method of incubating eggs of olive turtles and releasing the born cubs into the ocean.
Assistance in maintaining and increasing the population is provided both at the state level and voluntarily. For example, Mexico, more than twenty years ago, held government measures to protect olive turtles from destruction for the sake of meat and skin, and volunteer organizations assist young offspring by helping them get to the long-awaited expanses of the ocean.