A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sea Turtles and the Texas Coast

When we visited the beach today, Missy learned a lot about the Texas coast and its sea turtles.

Turtle sanctuary on Galveston island.
While we were walking, we found a turtle sanctuary along the beach.  This is a special part of the beach where sea turtles come to lay their eggs.  

Turtles visit many places along the shores of the Texas Gulf Coast.  Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are the most common turtles that come to lay their eggs in the sands of Galveston's beach.  

Sand dunes on Galveston beach
All sea turtles live in the open ocean.  Female sea turtles only come to shore once a year.  They come at night to lay their eggs.  Their nesting season is from April to August when the sand is warm.  The sea turtles may lay as many as 120 eggs at one time.

About 60 days later, tiny turtles emerge from their shells.  They normally hatch at night or during a rain storm.  Then they scurry to the water as fast as they can.  They must make it to the water quickly to keep safe from predators.

The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is very special.  It is the smallest sea turtle.  An adult can weigh 100 pounds and is about 30 inches long.  Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are also the most endangered of all sea turtles and must be protected.  For more information, click here:  Most Endangered Sea Turtles

You can help to save sea turtles.  You can help by keeping beaches clean.  You can help by protecting beach vegetation.  You can help by not disturbing a turtle if you see one.  If you would like to learn more about helping turtles, click here:  Protect Sea Turtles

We didn't see any sea turtles on the beach today.  Here is a photo that Mom took a few years ago of an injured turtle at the Houston Downtown Aquarium.  Soon after this photo was taken, the turtle was well enough to be released back into the ocean.

Sea turtle at Houston's Downtown Aquarium Restaurant
After our trip to the beach, Missy wanted to know all about our Texas turtles.  Here is a photo of Missy coloring a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle.  She is a very good artist!

Missy learns about Kemp ridley turtles.
Would you like to learn more about sea turtles?  To learn more about Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, click here Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles or here Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles TPWD

Here are three great activity books about turtles:  
All Kinds of Turtles Activity Book  (Missy colored the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle picture from this activity book.)

You can also check out these great books from your library:
  • I'll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Tara
  • National Geographic Readers:  Sea Turtles by Laura Marsh
  • One Tiny Turtle:  Read and Wonder by Nicola Davies

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