As the vocalist Zevon once said: “It’s never too late for love,” a couple of sea turtles appear to be showing us the actions that it truly is never too late for love.
Sea turtles are the oldest surviving reptiles on the planet. Fossil records show that they have existed for more than 150 million years and are likewise the longest-living vertebrates on Earth, with life spans greater than 100 years, which is a very long time to find love.
With that being said, it seems as though love is in the air (or in the water) – in Sarasota Bay. The Sarasota Police Department managed to catch the moment when it seemed two sea turtles were sharing a peck of affection.
The flawlessly planned photograph was taken while officials watched the inlet to safeguard marine life during the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. The powerboat races occurred close to Big Sarasota Pass off Lido Key on June 26 and 27 as part of an occasion to help raise money for nearby charities in Sarasota.
Sea turtles can travel numerous miles among feeding grounds and nesting during the year. A few species have been known to swim up to 1900 miles in only 23 days, including against the current! Like all turtles, sea turtles have no teeth but instead have strong jaws that can be likened to a bird’s beak. Most sea turtles are carnivores and enjoy eating crabs, tunicates, sponges, mollusks, and clams. One of its favorite meals is the elusive jellyfish! Rough projections line their throats and safeguard them from any stings from the jelly’s tentacles, and of all turtles, only the green sea turtles eat their veggies most of the time. With a menu like that, sea turtles might have some romantic meals to go with this kiss of love!
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The pair of sea turtles aren’t the only animals of late caught on camera nearby. A gathering of neighborhood fishers caught a video of a shark grabbing a tarpon right off their line in Sarasota Bay.
If these turtles are in it for the long haul, perhaps we can expect them later to harbor cute tiny turtles. However, that’ll only happen when a male sea turtle hatchling leaves the beach. He’ll then spend his whole life on Earth at sea. Then, females go ashore to lay eggs. Researchers are unsure as to when sea turtles arrive at sexual maturity. As with numerous other reptiles, size is a more reliable indicator of sexual development than age. Mating can happen in pre-summer and summer, typically offshore from the nesting shores. Then, the females advance onto the ocean side to settle. Utilizing their back flippers, they dig a nest of around 18 inches deep. At that point, females deposit roughly 80 to 120 eggs around the size of ping-pong balls and then carefully watch the nest.
Finally, after around 60 days, the eggs start to hatch. Every hatchling breaks out of the shell utilizing its egg tooth. Next, the baby turtles will begin to squirm and wiggle as sand falls around them, assisting with lifting them to the surface. Then, a depression forms in the sand out of nowhere, and the baby sea turtles bolt out of the nest and race toward the ocean. Their lives begin, and the life cycle of sea turtles starts. Although, few will get such a memorable shot of their true love’s kiss as the two in this story were able to.