The loggerhead turtle is a sea turtle distributed throughout the world. They are named for their large heads which support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush their hard-shelled prey such as clams and sea urchins. Compared to other sea turtles, they are less likely to be hunted for their meat or shell. However, they are significantly threatened by bycatch as they frequently come into contact with fisheries.
Loggerhead turtles are the most common turtles in the Mediterranean, nesting on beaches from Greece and Turkey to Israel and Libya. However, many of their nesting beaches are under threat by increasing tourist development.
DID YOU KNOW?
- One population of loggerhead turtles nests in Japan and migrates across the entire Pacific Ocean to the rich feeding grounds off of Baja California Sur, Mexico, where they spend several years foraging and maturing.
- In the United States, most of the loggerhead turtle's nests are laid in Florida. However, in the last decade, the amount of nests in Florida has declined by 40%.
- The IUCN has classified the loggerhead turtle as endangered.
- The loggerhead turtle's scientific name is aretta caretta.