The Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) are found in the Indian, Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Adults can weigh up to 1,000 lbs, but the average full grown adult weighs in at around 300 lbs. Their considerable size detours many predators. However, large marine animals, such as sharks, do feed on loggerheads.
These turtles live up to 50-70 years, and reach sexual maturity between 17-33 years old. However, they have a very low reproductive rate; females lay just four egg clutches before becoming dormant for two to three years. A total of nine distinct population segments of loggerheads are protected under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, but they are currently listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.
Loggerheads are often caught as bycatch in trawling nets. This along with coastal development of housing and tourism for humans are the leading threats to their existence. We photographed this loggerhead during a day of diving at Silk Cayes Marine Reserve in Belize. Read more in our post, Scuba Diving, Placencia, Belize: Nurse Sharks and Oceanic Manta Rays.