Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Reptiles > Loggerhead Turtle Next
Text: Reptiles.
Loggerhead Turtle
Photo: Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta.
Loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta
More Images »

Where are they found? AfricaAsiaAtlantic OceanAustraliaEuropeIndian OceanNorth AmericaPacific OceanSouth America

Map of the world.

The loggerhead turtle is found around the globe, inhabiting continental shelves, bays, estuaries and lagoons in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters.

Adult loggerhead turtles may attain a shell length of almost 3 m (9 ft.) and weigh up to 454 kg (1,000 lb.) although a length of 1 m (3 ft.) and a weight of about 136 kg (300 lb.) are more usual.

It primarily feeds upon bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, mussels, clams, oysters and shrimp.

Mating takes place in late March to early June, and the eggs are laid throughout the summer. The female comes ashore at night and digs the nest in the sand with her flippers. She lays round, white, leathery eggs—as many as 150 in a clutch. She then covers them with packed sand.

Any eggs that have not fallen victim to predators hatch after a period of up to 68 days, depending on the temperature. The young loggerheads struggle to the surface and make their way to the sea. The hatchlings are dull brown. They are about 45 mm long (1.8 in.), and weigh on average 20 g (0.7 oz.).

In the Atlantic, these turtles are found from Newfoundland in Canada, to as far south as Argentina; the primary Atlantic nesting sites are along the east coast of Florida (Florida beaches account for one-third of the world's total population). In the eastern Pacific, they are reported as far north as Alaska, and as far south as Chile. The only known breeding area in the North Pacific is in southern Japan.

More Images
Photo: Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta. Photo: Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta. Photo: Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta.

Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!

To cite this page for personal use:
“Loggerhead Turtle”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous