The olive ridley sea turtle (scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea) is one of many sea turtle species. Olive ridleys get their name from their olive green colored and heart-shaped carapace. These turtles are found in the warm tropical and subtropical waters of the Southern Atlantic ocean, different regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans. They are also known as solitary sea turtles, preferring to be in the open ocean. Their size varies between 24-30 in (60-76 cm) and they weigh around 100-110 lb (45-50 kg). Olive ridleys can be found at depths up to 500 ft (152 m). Olive ridleys can swim at a speed of up to 22 miles per hour (35 km per hour) and olive ridley sea turtle food and diet choices include jellyfish, snails, crabs, and shrimp.
Arribadas are the large-scale nesting of turtles, and arribadas occur in the olive ridley populations of turtles because this turtle, olive ridley, belongs to the species of turtles that enjoy mass nesting, unlike other marine turtles. Solitary nesting does also occur widely throughout this species. However, arribadas nesting occurs on many beaches across the globe. Olive ridley turtles mate in the ocean once they reach sexual maturity and females are capable of storing the sperm throughout the nesting season.
If you are wondering "is the olive ridley sea turtle extinct?" the answer is no! Although it is classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and is at risk of becoming endangered. Let's have a look at these interesting facts all about the liver ridley sea turtle, and if you like these, then do read our guides on the desert tortoise and the Aldabra giant tortoise too.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
What do they prey on?
Jellyfish, snails, crabs, and shrimp
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
100-110 lb (45-50 kg)
How long are they?
2-2.5 ft (0.6 to 0.7 m)
How tall are they?
24 in (61 cm)
What do they look like?
Olive green and dark grey-green colored
What are their main threats?
Crabs, raccoons, pigs, snakes, and sharks
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Tropical regions, oceans, seas, and coastal waters
The Southern Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an olive ridley sea turtle?
The olive ridley sea turtle is the smallest sea turtle species and is also considered to be the most abundant sea turtle.
What class of animal does an olive ridley sea turtle belong to?
The class of animal that an olive ridley sea turtle belongs to is the class Reptilia.
How many olive ridley sea turtles are there in the world?
There is an estimated number of 800,000 nesting female olive ridleys every year, the olive ridley is one of the most abundant sea turtle species. Still, however, the olive ridley population is currently decreasing, and they are now listed as a Vulnerable species of turtles in the world.
Where does an olive ridley sea turtle live?
An olive ridley sea turtle lives in the warm waters of the tropical and subtropical regions of the Southern Atlantic, Western Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Indian oceans.
What is an olive ridley sea turtle's habitat?
Olive ridleys are found in the warm coastal waters of different countries, including bays and estuaries. The olive ridley sea turtle habitat can be found in the South Atlantic, Westen Atlantic, along the Pacific coast, and in Indian Ocean regions. They are found both in the open ocean and near nesting beaches. Adults are typically found in shallow, coastal waters, bays, lagoons, and estuaries.
Who do olive ridley sea turtles live with?
Olive ridley turtles live with their own kind, alongside other marine animals and fish.
How long does an olive ridley sea turtle live?
An olive ridley sea turtle lifespan ranges from 30 to 50 years.
How do they reproduce?
Olive ridley turtles mate in the ocean once both males and females have reaches sexual maturity. Females are capable of storing the sperm throughout the breeding season, and then they lay their eggs on the beaches when they are reaader. The season for nesting varies from region to region. In the Pacific region (Eastern Pacific), nesting takes place throughout the year, with most nesting events happening between September and December in Mexico and Costa Rica.
The olive ridley sea turtle nesting season for most regions of the world is between June and December. The nesting females lay about 100 to 110 eggs and nest up to three times a year. They are often described as solitary nesters but the nesting can also take place in large groups. Once they lay their eggs during mass nesting, most turtles cover their eggs with sand.
What is their conservation status?
The olive ridley sea turtle is not extinct but is now listed as Vulnerable and is at risk of becoming endangered. There has been a decrease in its number in the Western Atlantic region in particular. Many protection programs have been appointed to work towards the protection of these turtles and to prevent them from becoming extinct but still, eggs are regularly taken and thousands of female olive ridleys are exploited for meat and for their skin by humans. Other olive ridley sea turtle threats include the actions of commercial fisheries such as trawling, gillnets, ghost nets, and longline fishing. Without the enforcement of strict poaching laws and with more use of shrimp trawl nets and ghost nets, these turtles are constantly under the threat of becoming an endangered species.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Fun Facts
What do olive ridley sea turtles look like?
Olive ridley turtles look very similar to Kemp's ridley sea turtles. They are olive green in color with a heart-shaped top shell, but they have a smaller head and a smaller shell than the Kemp's ridley. They also have around six or nine lateral scutes. Juveniles are a little charcoal grey in color whereas an adult olive ridley is olive green in color. The adults measure about 2-2.5 ft (62-70 cm) in length.
How cute are they?
Whether they are cute or not is totally subjective, but we find them very cute especially as babies!
How do they communicate?
An olive ridley sea turtle communicates by producing hissing sounds and other low-frequency sounds. Since they do not have vocal cords they have adapted to use non-vocal communication.
How big is an olive ridley sea turtle?
Olive ridley sea turtle size varies between 24-30 in (60-76 cm) and they weigh around 100-110 lb (45-50 kg). An olive ridley sea turtle is about eight times bigger than a rat.
How fast can an olive ridley sea turtle move?
An olive ridley sea turtle can swim at a speed of up to 22 miles per hour (35 km per hour).
How much does an olive ridley sea turtle weigh?
The weight of an olive ridley sea turtle range around 100-110 lb (45-50 kg).
What are their male and female names of the species?
There are no specific male and female names, all olive ridley turtles are simply known as olive ridley sea turtles.
What would you call a baby olive ridley sea turtle?
A baby olive ridley turtle is called a juvenile turtle.
What do they eat?
An olive ridley turtle eats jellyfish, snails, crabs, and shrimp. They are mostly carnivorous and they also sometimes feed on underwater algae and seaweeds.
Are they poisonous?
Olive ridleys are not poisonous but they have a painful bite.
Would they make a good pet?
No, in many countries keeping olive ridley sea turtles as pets is considered to be illegal. So although we find them super cute, these animals are best left in the wild or looked after by expert breeding and protection programs.
Did you know...
Olive ridleys can be found at depths up to 500 ft. (Also, Olive Ridley Sea Turtle diet facts tell that they sometimes feed on underwater algae plants and seaweed as well. They can also sleep underwater for a maximum of two hours before coming up to the surface of the water for air. They have an estimated lifespan of about 50 to 60 years.
Can you have an Olive Ridley sea turtle as a pet?
Under the protection of the endangered species act, it is considered illegal in certain countries to keep them as pets.
Why is the Olive Ridley sea turtle endangered?
The olive ridley sea turtle is not actually an endangered species but is at risk of becoming so and is currently classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, so is under the threat of becoming extinct. Many protection programs have been appointed to work towards the protection of these turtles and prevent them from becoming extinct. Fishing nets play a major role in the decrease of these turtles. Climate change, pollution, and oil spills in the oceans are also some of the major causes. Some of the hatchlings also die before venturing out in the ocean as they are preyed upon by crabs, raccoons, pigs, snakes, and birds, whereas sharks often take the adults. In the Western Atlantic region, there has been an 80% decrease in the number of olive ridley turtles, whereas a large nesting population is found in the regions of Mexico and Costa Rica. With the help of conservation and wildlife support groups that work towards these turtles' protection, the olive ridleys may be saved.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including the sand lizard or bog turtle.
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