Sea turtles are large turtles that live almost their whole lives in the ocean. They hatch from eggs laid on land, but immediately enter the water. They can travel thousands of miles or kilometers across the seas. Their large flippers make them excellent swimmers. However, they are awkward on land, dragging themselves along with their flippers. There are several kinds of sea turtles.
Female sea turtles return to land only to lay eggs. They usually return to the beaches where they were born, even after traveling across the ocean. Newly hatched turtles scrambleto the ocean to avoid being eaten by birds and other animals. Most male sea turtles never come onto land again.
Most sea turtles eat algae and sea grasses. They also eat such animals as crabs, fish, and shrimp. Some kinds of sea turtles have more specialized diets. For example, sea turtles called leatherbacks eat jellyfish.
There were once hundreds of millions of sea turtles. Their numbers have plunged because of human activities. People hunt sea turtles for their meat and eggs. Many sea turtles die after becoming trapped in large nets of commercial fishing boats. Oil spills and litter pollute the oceans and harm sea turtles. Beach development can harm sea turtle nesting sites. Sea turtles are protected by law.