My favorite places to hang out are seagrass beds and coral reefs. Although I spend almost my entire life in the water, I don't breathe under water. I have lungs and breathe air! This is important because when the females of my species lay eggs, they crawl onto the beach to dig a hole in the sand and lay 100 to 200 eggs! When the eggs hatch, the baby turtles crawl right back to the sea. Not many of them survive the trip, because there are many predators on land and in the sea that eat baby sea turtles.
I almost always see divers when I am swimming around WhyReef's warm waters. Outside of WhyReef I have been spotted in tropical waters near 139 different countries! I am a totally awesome swimmer and have been known to swim over 1,400 miles (2,253 km) from my feeding waters to my nesting site! I always return to the same nesting site where I was born. Scientists think I can live to up to 100 years old!
When I was young I would eat plants, jellyfish, crabs, sponges, snails, and worms. I ate plants and animals, so I was an omnivore. But now that I'm an adult, I only eat plants. Seagrass is my favorite thing to eat, but I also eat seaweeds and different types of algae. As an adult, I only eat plants, so I am an herbivore.
I am endangered and my population is decreasing! Many people like to eat us, but they are killing too many of us. Sometimes we are accidentally caught and killed by the fishing industry when they are trying to catch other fish. We are on the Endangered Species List, and many people in many countries are working to protect us. One group that works very hard on our behalf is the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. You can find out more about them in the Reef Station Reference section.