Species encyclopedia

Loggerhead Turtle

Caretta caretta


The loggerhead turtle is commonly known as the «big-headed turtle» and can also be recognized for its heart shaped shell.

It feeds on small fish, molluscs, jellyfish and crustaceans whose shells it can crush thanks to its powerful jaws.

Many plant and animal species travel the oceans attached to its shell, turning this species into a veritable floating reef.


It mates in the open sea, close to the surface. The females only ovulate every two or three years, when they go to ground and dig a deep (about 50 cm) hole in the sand to deposit their 100 or so eggs.

Incubation lasts 45 to 65 days. As they make their way to the sea, the little turtles (about 55 mm) are extremely vulnerable to a multitude of predators (monitors, crabs, rodents, fish, birds, and the list goes on). They then drift into the open sea to their feeding grounds.

The endangered loggerhead turtle is protected at the international level.

Discover the missions of the Center for Studies and Care for Sea Turtles

Juvenile loggerheads (15 to 24 cm) are frequently stranded during the winter season on France's Atlantic coast. The cold water weakens them, so they let themselves be carried along by the currents. Since 1988, 186 loggerhead turtles have been received for treatment at La Rochelle Aquarium's CESTM (Research and Care Centre for Sea Turtles).

Marine Turtles


Species encyclopedia

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