The Sea Turtle
Sea turtles are one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures. The seven species found today became distinct from all other turtles at least 110 million years ago. Like many other animals they have been hunted for centuries. Not just for their meat, but also for their sdecorative shells.
Sea turtles are threatened by fisheries impacts, coastal development, direct take of turtles and eggs, pollution and pathogens and global warming. This has caused that all species of sea turtles today either are Endangered or Critically Endangered. The Olive Ridley turtle are the only exeption since this specie only are rated as Vulnerable.
The first fossils found from turtles are from the Triassic period (245-209 million years ago), but we have to go to the Late Jurassic period to find the first fossils from sea turtles. Today scientists believe that the sea turtles we see today are ancestors from the sea turtles from this period.
The extinct sea turtle Archelon was one of the largest sea turtles ever lived. It reached a length of 3 to 4 m and lived 144-65 million years ago. Today the Leatherback is the biggest surviving sea turtle with an average length on almost 2 meter.