Hey you! Welcome to the second instalment of my Short and Sweet Newsletter for curious and nature-loving English students!
Today,Tuesday 23 May is World Turtle Day, hence the title of my email, which is a play on words: shell + celebrate, get it?
(Photo by Randall Ruiz, Unsplash
Did you know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises? But we'll save that for another day!
Today let's have a look at sea turtles.
✨ There are seven species of sea turtle, including the hawksbill and the Kemp's ridley. Six of these species are endangered, three are critically endangered.
✨ The world's largest marine turtle, the leatherback, is the deepest diving reptile. Thanks to its unique design, which includes a soft shell, it is capable of swimming down to depths of over 1,000 metres!
✨Sea turtles have been key in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, since the time of the dinosaurs! For instance, by dining on jellyfish, sponges and seagrass they help keep these populations in check.
✨They have staggering navigational abilities. Mothers will return to the very same beach where they hatched, to lay their eggs. These may be journeys of thousands of miles.
✨The sex of marine turtles is influenced by the temperature of the sand they hatch in 🙀 Hotter sand produces females, colder sand, males.
However, these marvellous creatures face many threats, from plastic pollution to accidental capture in fishing nets, from global warming to the illegal trade of their eggs and shells.
There are always things we can do to help though, even if it is just avoiding plastic bags or telling our children, students or friends about the importance of these ancient animals.
People can't care if they don't know, right?
Here are a couple of links if you're interested in finding out more about sea turtles:
How to Help Save Sea Turtles
All Creatures Podcast Episode 225: The Massive Leatherback Turtle https://www.allcreaturespod.com/episodes/episode-225-the-massive-leatherback-sea-turtle/
Oops, I think this newsletter ended up being a little longer than I expected. Maybe I will have to rename it! 😹
Have a lovely day!