Five species of sea turtles have been found in the waters of the guadeloupe islands, including two that can be observed near our shores all year round. Quick revision before we take to the water…
Sea turtles have to surface for air. After just a few breaths they can stay under water for around 20 minutes, or even a few hours when they are resting. They swim at speeds of up to 35 km/h.
Turtles are oviparous: the female digs her nest on the beach and lays 70 to 200 eggs which she covers with sand before returning to the sea. We call their offspring “hatchlings”. Just one egg in every thousand will result in an adult turtle capable of reproducing. The females will lay their eggs only at the beach where they hatched
Sea turtles are capable of diving very deep. The luth turtle, one of the largest species of sea turtle, has been known to dive to a record depth exceeding 1,000 meters.
Luth turtles can measure up to 2 meters in length and reach a weight of 450 kg. This is the only species which has no hard shell, just skin with a leathery appearance. Its clawless flippers are shaped like paddles, making it an excellent swimmer. It leaves the water only for the laying season and prefers the quiet shores of nighttime, although some individuals have been spotted in the spring in broad daylight, at Trois-Rivières or on La Perle beach at Deshaies
Focus on the turtle hospital
At the Guadeloupe Aquarium, there is a turtle hospital for the victims of ocean pollution. The new children’s center has an educational corner whose purpose is to make them aware of the necessity to preserve the marine world in general, and turtles in particular. Plastic bags, fishing hooks, ink cartridges, etc. are just a few of the many dangers that threaten turtles and pollute the water. Workshops are organized to help us understand the impact of our actions in terms of the preservation of species.