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Angels of the Sea

Sea Turtles are the true ancients of the world, they have been swimming the oceans for over two
hundred million years. They lived through the age of the dinosaurs. They also survived the earth's Ice
Age. For the first time in their long history, 6 out of 7 species are either endangered and on the verge
of extinction, or threatened to become endangered under the US Endangered Species Act.
To reach full maturity can take between 10-30 years. An average of 25 years to reach sexual
maturity. Adult turtles are herbivores, whyle juveniles are carnivores. They will eat jellyfish and other
invertebrates. Turtles will return to the place of their birth to make and build their nests. For many
Hawaiian turtles this involves a migration to the shores of the French Frigate shores, 800 miles NW of
Hawaii.
The popular turtle in Hawaii is the Green Sea turtle. The name is in reference to the color of
the body, which is green from the algae and limu (seeweed) it eats.

A turtle has many preditors, including humans. There has always been a demand for the beautiful shell
which can be polished and used for jewelry and ornamentation. Worldwide turtles are trapped in
shrimp pots and used for food. Discarded fishing nets can be a death trap as well. A turtle under stress
can drown within a couple minutes. A relaxed turtle can stay underwater for 45 minutes.
Polution has become the most dangerous predator for the turtle species. A virus called
Fibropapillomatosis is killing turtles. This virus produces tumors on the body of the turtle, including
on the neck and face which will make eating impossible.