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Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

© written by Tasha Guenther

Olive Ridley Sea turtle hatchling

"Olive Ridley turtle hatchling"; used with permission under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are a part of the sea turtle family, Cheloniidae. They have fin-shaped limbs that give them the ability to swim quickly and efficiently throughout the ocean waters. They live in tropical waters within the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic.

The Olive Ridley sea turtle gets its name from the olive colour of its hard shell (carapace). It is one of the smallest of all sea turtles, measuring just under 80 cm and weighing up to 100 pounds.

The Olive ridley eats meat! The species loves to eat crab, small fish, shrimp, small lobsters, and even... jellyfish! Often, the Olive ridley will also eat algae.

Olive Ridley females lay their turtle eggs on the beach! The beaches where turtles lay their eggs are called natal beaches. Females begin laying eggs as early as 10 years old and can lay up to 3 clutches (groups of eggs) per year! Of course, the survival rate of these hatchlings is young due to predators like seagulls, racoons, and even crabs. Nonetheless, the females always return to the same beaches.