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Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these magnificent reptiles...
On the Galapagos Islands, William Dampier wrote excitedly of the giant...
The Sundarbans National Park site in India was inscribed on the World Heritage...
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The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was...

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“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 beautiful ocean photos in our...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several...
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...
Amanda Feuerstein with a nesting olive ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea ). Feuerstein is a co-author of a study that surveyed algae, crustaceans, mollusks, and other epibionts that live on olive ridley...
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...
A spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodiles) patrols a salty pond at the Smithsonian Institution’s research station in Bocas del Toro, Panama. A bony ridge between its eyes gives it the appearance of...
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.
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...
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...
“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…...
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...
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Turtles were cleaned and nursed back to health with...
"As part of a site fidelity and migration study, this Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a small transmitter that sends its positions to orbiting satellites so that scientists can learn more of their habitat...
Hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) are small to medium-sized turtles, but can get as large as 200 lbs (91 kg). Adults live among healthy coral reef communities, feeding primarily on sponges...
The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was initially recognized in 1880, scientists didn't know where it nested until 80 years later, when a film documenting about...
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...
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...
“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...
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
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...
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these...
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