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Talkin’ Turtles: #4

Photo from NOAA Fisheries


Did you know?


  • Sea turtles don’t have teeth.  Instead, their upper and lower jaws have sheaths made of keratin (the same stuff your fingernails are made of) that fit onto the skull like a pair of false teeth.
  • Their shells are made of over 50 bones fused together, so they’re literally wearing their bones on the outside.
  • Unlike land turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their head and legs into their shell.
  • Since they are reptiles, sea turtles need oxygen to survive.  However, they are able to slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes between each beat in order to conserve oxygen, and because of this, sea turtles can hold their breath for up to five hours!


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