This page features a Turtle Life Cycle Game Online. In this game students will learn turtles mate and lay eggs in a nest by the shore. The eggs are covered in sand until they hatch and move towards the sea. During this time some are eaten by predators. These creatures have a fascinating life cycle. This game is suitable for homeschooling and classrooms for students in 3rd to 7th grades.
The life cycle of turtles begins with an egg. The baby turtles break their egg shell and begin to burrow upward. Strengthened by the yolk left over from the previous day, the hatchlings set out at night for the sea. They must overcome obstacles and avoid predators to reach the open ocean. Those that make it to the open ocean grow into young and migrate to forage near the coast.
The life cycle of sea turtles begins with the hatching of an egg. Female sea turtles come ashore within a few weeks of mating to lay their eggs. A small hole at the end of the pit, called the egg chamber, is filled with eggs. Between 50 and 200 soft-shelled eggs are laid. The turtles return to the sea after covering their nests with sand. A few weeks later, the baby turtles hatch from the nest.
Once the hatchling stage is complete, the turtle moves to highly productive neritic feeding areas. During this stage, they feed on seagrass and plankton. The diet in these areas is more diverse than in the open ocean, but they are also exposed to more predators. Because of the threat of predation, juvenile sea turtles wait to enter neritic feeding areas until they reach full size. Once they reach sexual maturity, they migrate to breeding areas. The journey from birth to breeding can take years or even decades.
A sea turtle spends about a decade in the open ocean. These years are called the turtle's "lost years," and they eventually return to coastal areas where they forage for food. Because sea turtles are so mobile, they can move over a large area of the ocean. During this time, they can be as small as a dinner plate. To survive this phase of their life cycle, it is important to understand the pelagic (open sea) phase of the turtle life cycle.
During the pelagic (open ocean) phase of the turtle life cycle, loggerhead turtles travel great distances to feed on seagrass. The extended fingers on the front of the turtles support the flattened wing structure, which provides buoyancy and propulsion. The extended toes also help the turtles navigate in the open ocean. The pelagic phase of the turtle life cycle consists of three main stages.
Threats to sea turtles are becoming more common as climate change and human activities threaten the ocean habitats they use for nesting. Climate change is one of the most pressing threats facing sea turtles, causing changes to the sandy beaches on which they lay eggs. Global warming also changes the sex ratio, resulting in more females hatching than males at many nesting sites. And since sea turtles are highly dependent on their habitats, as temperatures rise, more females are hatched than males, making the life cycle of these animals more complicated than it may initially seem.
Changing sea levels, increased rainfall, and ocean acidification are all major threats to nesting sea turtles. Rising sea levels are one of the most important threats to sea turtles, and increasing ocean temperatures will only compound this problem. As the sea levels rise, turtles may find it more difficult to find adequate nesting habitats and fewer hatchlings will be born. These factors alone may make sea turtles more vulnerable to extinction.
Turtles spend most of their lives in the danger zone. Most commercial fishing practices are small-scale, and the high seas are the least protected habitat on Earth. Despite being threatened by this, small-scale fishing operations still account for 90% of global catch. Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, co-founder of the ProDelphinus NGO, spent decades trying to reduce the bycatch of sea turtles.
Increasing the success of conservation programs means achieving a long-term goal of improving egg survival and propagation of turtles. The process of recovery is slow and can take decades, so it is imperative to obtain long-term support for conservation efforts. Fortunately, the IUCN listed the French Frigate Shoals subpopulation as less-threatened in 2012.