the females return to shore, so male turtles are hard to
study in the wild. The female turtle returns to the beach
where it was born and delivers her eggs. She can lay eggs
up to 10 times in a single mating season. From her thousands
of eggs if one turtle survives to adulthood she will be
very lucky. Baby turtles take between 15 and 50 years to
reach reproductive maturity and some species can live over
The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 150 million
years old. In groups too numerous to count, they once navigated
throughout the world's oceans. But in just the past 100
years, demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and colorful shells
has dwindled their populations. Destruction of feeding and
nesting habitats and pollution of the world’s oceans are
all taking a serious toll on remaining sea turtle populations.
Many breeding populations have already become extinct, and
entire species are being wiped out.