The Majestic Loggerhead Sea Turtle

These majestic wizards of the open ocean glide effortlessly through the water looking for jellyfish, algae and seaweed. These chaps have a disproportionately large head, which is what has given them the name Loggerhead. These guys can hibernate of sorts, remaining under water for up to seven hours before surfacing to breathe.

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Where can I see… Crazy Crocs and Goofy ‘gators?

These crazy creatures are unbelievably old. Estimated at 200 million years, that’s almost 150 million years older than the last known dinosaur went extinct! They have been rocking our world for so long that our presence appears as just a blip on their seemingly eternal reign. Can we learn something from these guys? Do they hold the secret to everlasting youth? Okay, so their direct ancestry dates back a little before ours and even before that of the dinosaurs, what’s the big deal? Well actually, this means that a lot can be learnt from these ancient beasts, how have they managed to do this? Scientists are investigating these many questions and hope to provide an answer that will aid not only the longevity of the human race, but also help prevent mistreatment and protect these reptiles by showing them in a better light.

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Caiman

Today’s photo fact is about the Caiman, a member of the Alligator family, common throughout Central and South America.


These guys are almost certainly young Yacare Caiman, and are widespread throughout the wetlands of Southern Brazil and Nothern Argentina, with over 10 million estimated to exist there. They will grow up on a diet of fish, with a preference for Piranha and possibly a Capybara or two (The largest rodent in the world) when they are older.

For more reptiles and facts, visit our Reptiles gallery on Flickr.

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Where can I see… Leatherback Turtles

Sea turtles are some of the most wonderful animals you can see in action in the wild, as you are able to get up close to them and observe various stages of their life cycle without disturbing them. The most obvious way is to grab your snorkel set and swim with them.  The Green Sea Turtles are relatively easy to find as they tend to live in shallow lagoons. Sea turtles also nest on land, favouring particular beaches to bury their eggs and then leave them to hatch themselves a couple of months later. This gives you the opportunity to observe them at close quarters and watch their fascinating behaviour.


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The Smiling Turtle

This little critter has been scientifically renamed more times than a confused schizophrenic and at first sight looks to have more in common with an alligator than a turtle. Mata Mata actually means ‘kill, kill’ in Spanish, which is concerning for those of you who keep them as pets. These guys are not a vegetarian’s favorite as they are serious carnivores; they turn their pointy nose up at anything green unless it croaks.

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