Reproduction system in aquatic turtles
The habitat of aquatic turtles
Aquatic turtles are much flatter then desert turtles and live in an aquatic environment such as creeks, ponds, lakes, etc. they have webbed feet, they swim to catch their food, and they sleep on rocks and other objects just outside the water. Unfortunately people keep water turtles as pets in tanks.
Fertilisation in aquatic turtles:
Aquatic turtles begin reproducing at an old age between 15 and 50 years of age. Turtles reproduce by cross-fertalization. There is a season on certain beaches where turtles mate. They mate very close to shore . The male will fertilise the female internally. Every mating season people gather to watch. The male turtles do not leave the water but all the nesting females do. Females leave the ocean at night on specific beaches to lay there eggs. When they get out of the water they must crawl to the highest tide mark. Sometimes it take over 7 hours to climb 30 feet. When the female has reached her spot she begins to dig a nest shaped hole. Digging the hole may also take over 7 hours to do so. The female will then start laying her eggs one by one. The female then covers her nest with sand and pats it down before she returns back to the water. A disadvantage about this strategy of fertilization is the female doesn't have as much protection when she is out of the water as she moves very slow. The eggs also don't have much protection on shore.
Development of the eggs
The eggs will develop externally. The female can lay up to 100 eggs. The eggs are the size of golf balls. A month or two after, the baby turtles then hatch and head towards the water. Even though 100 eggs are layer sometimes only 2-3 will make it to adulthood and be able to reproduce. Aquatic turtle is an oviparous animal as she lays eggs and most of the development is outside of her. A disadvantage to this strategy is only a few eggs will make it to adulthood. Us humans try our best to give the turtles a good enviroment for the turtles to reproduce.
Aquatic turtles are a k-selection species which means they are a species that reproduce very slowly and take much longer to mature. There is a small amount of parental care towards turtles. The mother will make the eggs safe up on shore but will then leave them there to hatch and live there own lives. The turtles will hatch themselves and automatically go towards the water. The babies will already know how to swim. It is unlikely for all the babies to survive to adulthood so they can reproduce.
Interesting facts about aquatic turtles
- Turtles have a top shell to protect them selves and they also have an lower shell called a plastron.
- If a turtle is getting attacked they can hide there heads in there shells.The shell of a turtle is made up of 60 different bones all connected to eachother.
-Sea turtles have special glands which help remove salt from the water they drink.
-Many turtle species are endangered.
-The turtle will get quiet a lot of sand in her eyes when she is digging the nest. She has special tears to get the sand out o f her eyes.
-Turtles have existed for around 215 million years.
-Several species of turtles can live to be over a hundred years of age including the American Box Turtle.
Aquatic turtle by David T. Kirkpatrick
Aquatic turtles by Richard D Bartlett