Lord Howe Island turtles

One of the many exciting things about snorkelling is coming across turtles. It’s strange to see them just resting on the bottom, apparently asleep, when you know they will have to come up to breathe occasionally. I found myself holding my breath without knowing, until I suddenly had to take a big breath. One was standing on the bottom at the back of a big round stingray (possibly Taeniura meyeni), also on the bottom. We swam with quite a few green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in different spots.

Green turtle; photo by Mila Zinkova, Wikimedia Commons

They don’t breed on the island, but can be seen munching on underwater plants. People are discouraged from feeding them.

Turtles need to feed only on certain things to remain healthy

A turtle we won’t be swimming with any time soon is the impressive but extinct horned turtle (Meiolania platyceps).

Horned turtle, thought to have become extinct between 100,000 and 10,000 years ago, in the LHI museum

Quite a few separate bones, as well as this complete one (this is a cast of the original), have been found on LHI

It would have been really something to swim with this beauty!

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2 Responses to Lord Howe Island turtles

  1. Wow! Oh man, I have got to get myself to Lord Howe Island someday! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Joy Window says:

    Nudge it up near the top of your list – it’s worth it!

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