The Maldives are home to five of the seven turtle species that are known to exist worldwide. None of the turtles have actual teeth; they all have a large, horny beak. They can move at speeds of up to 35 km/h thanks to their paddle-shaped flippers. Females come back to land during nesting season to lay their eggs in a nest carved out of the sand beach. Here’s a little bit about some of them so that you can easily spot them on your next trip.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
This little to medium-sized marine turtle has a stunningly colored shell that works well as coral reef camouflage. They have small heads with a characteristic hawk-like beak, flippers with two claws, and a thin, elongated oval shell with overlapping scutes on the carapace. They can reach a height of 91 cm, weigh between 113 and 182 kg, and are easily recognized by an upper jaw that mimics the “beak” of a hawk. Snorkelling and swimming with turtles is one of the most popular activities to do in Maldives.
Green Sea Turtle
They are named for the greenish hue of their fat and cartilage, as opposed to the occasionally-black color of their shells. These sea turtles, like other sea turtle species, move across great distances between their natal beaches and feeding sites. They can reach lengths of up to 100 cm and weigh between 113 and 182 kg. With two different populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as a few in the Indian Ocean, green turtles are primarily found in tropical and subtropical waters.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), also known as a loggerhead, gets its name from the fact that it has an abnormally big head and a thicker, more horny beak than other sea turtles. With skin that ranges from yellow to brown, shells that are normally reddish brown with darker streaks, and front flippers with two claws, this species is the largest hard-shelled turtle in the entire globe. You can easily book a snorkelling tour either with a diving agency or your hotel such as the Velifushi Maldives by Cinnamon.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Named for the generally greenish colour, they’re closely related to the Kemp’s ridley turtle as they only reach about two feet in shell length and weigh around 36 – 41kg. The smallest and most prevalent sea turtles in the world are the olive ridley sea turtles, sometimes referred to as Pacific ridley sea turtles. These turtles are most famous for their unusual mass nesting, known as arribada, where thousands of females congregate on the same beach to lay eggs. These turtles are found in warm, tropical waters, particularly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.