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An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the southern coast of the...
Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs,...
“It is strange to think of a sea turtle as an ecosystem,” says Amanda...
No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner...

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Every year, at the same place and time, thousands of female Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) come ashore to nest and lay their eggs on the beach. This mass nesting event is known as an arribada, meaning “arrival...
Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus...
A diet of algae and seagrasses gives this turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) greenish...

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There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven...

The Ocean Blog

From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny pygmy sea horses, there are some bizarre sea creatures that live in coral reefs . In this slideshow you can explore some...
“It is strange to think of a sea turtle as an ecosystem,” says Amanda Feuerstein, program coordinator and research assistant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, “but they are…...
In a 2011 study published in the Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History , researchers documented a number of different organisms living on olive ridley and green turtles in the Pacific. Of...
Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus annulatus ) has fangs and venom. But its venom is weak so, instead of defending with a bite, the species tends to react to danger...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several species of geckos that live in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay. More about mangroves can be found in our...
Kemp’s ridley turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) are one of the smallest sea turtles, weighing only 100 lbs (45 kg). Adults spend most of their time in shallow coastal areas in places with mud, sand, or...
Leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) are the largest sea turtles, growing as long as six and a half feet (2 m) and weighing some 2,000 pounds (900 kg). They’re unlike the other marine turtles...
“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under the surface of the water. I got the shot just before the tern flew away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Nuno Sá. See more...
On the Galapagos Islands, William Dampier wrote excitedly of the giant tortoises he encountered: “I do believe there is no place in the world that is so plentifully stored with these animals….” This...
Leatherback sea turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The primary threats to leatherbacks are interactions with fisheries...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
A giant tortoise subspecies ( Geochelone nigra vicina ) lives on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Cerro Azul, estimated to be about 350,000 years old, is one of six volcanoes on the island.
Loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta ) are named for their large heads and strong jaws, which allow them to eat prey with hard shells, like big marine snails. They live throughout the world’s warm...
The Aldabra Atoll site in the Seychelles was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site is comprised of a coral reef surrounding four large coral islands, which enclose a shallow lagoon...
Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and...
Green turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) live in the warm coastal waters of tropical and subtropical oceans. Adults sometimes eat sponges, salps (floating jelly-like animals), and jellyfish, but they feed...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the...
There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven species are found in US waters, and the flatback turtle is only found in the...
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