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6 Different Kinds Of Turtles And Turtle Species You Should Know About

The more you learn about turtles the more impressive they seem. They have been around for millions of years, they live both on land and at sea, and there are hundreds of unique turtle species throughout the world. With many turtle species being endangered, we are at risk of losing some of these wonderful creatures forever. 

At Wildlife Collections, we are invested in the survival of turtles. We have learned so much about sea turtles as a part of our partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. That is part of the reason why we want to share information about turtles and raise awareness concerning the risks they face.

In this post, we are going to look at a variety of different turtle species. This list includes different kinds of turtles from all over the world.

Green Turtles

Green turtles are an endangered species of sea turtle. Though their numbers are declining in many of their habitats, they are still known to nest on shores on the eastern sides of North America and South America. They are the only herbivore sea turtle species, and they get their green pigmentation from their plant-rich diet.

Roti Island Snake-Necked Turtles

These kinds of turtles are critically endangered with an interesting look. They live in and around the lakes and swamps of Rote Island in Indonesia and they are recognizable for their long necks.  These turtles are at threat as the result of climate change and habitat loss, but the biggest threat for snake-necked turtles is the pet trade. They are highly valued among collectors for their distinctive look and rarity. 

Leatherback Turtles

Leatherbacks are impressive even when compared to other sea turtle species. They are the largest sea turtles, they migrate the longest distances and they can dive deeper than other turtles. Along with that, they have been around for about 150 million years, so they are the oldest sea turtle species still in existence. Beyond their size, they are recognizable for having a rubbery carapace instead of the bony shell found on most turtles.

Matamata

The matamata is a turtle species found primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basin regions of South America. They are freshwater turtles that live in swamps, pools and streams. With a shell that resembles bark and limbs resembling fallen leaves, they can easily blend in with their surroundings. The matamata turtles use this natural camouflage to ambush unsuspecting prey. 

Hawksbill 

Hawksbill sea turtles can be found in coastal regions throughout the world. They are another endangered species of sea turtle and their populations have been declining for generations. They are named for their narrow beak-like bill. While they do face threats associated with pollution and habitat destruction like other kinds of turtles, hawksbill turtles are commonly hunted for their shells. With a distinctive design, humans have been hunting these turtles as well as different turtle species to use their shells for decorative purposes since ancient times.

Kemp’s Ridley

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles inhabit the Atlantic Ocean, and they have the sad distinction of being the rarest species of sea turtle. They are most abundant in the Gulf of Mexico, and the largest Kemp’s ridley nesting site is in Rancho Nuevo, Mexico. Shrimping has been named as one of the primary threats to this type of sea turtle. 

They often die as a result of being caught in the nets. With that said, the numbers of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles do seem to be increasing. This is largely credited to protections provided to the turtles by the US and Mexico and the requirement of turtle excluder devices for shrimping in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

These are just a few of the amazing different kinds of turtles that can be found across the world. If you are interested in saving some of these turtle species, we encourage you to check out our collection of sea turtle jewelry. With a portion of the profits being donated to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, it is a great way to support the important work they do.