Caretta caretta Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle

     The Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle is the most common species which nests on northeast Florida beaches and juvenile specimens may occasionally be found during daylight hours although the hatchlings normally make their way from the nests to the sea during the hours of darkness. (Also see:  Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle) Also, rough seas such as northeasters and hurricanes also periodically wash juveniles onto the beach from their offshore home as is the case of the illustrated specimen which was found trapped in the wrack line with Sargasso Weed following a northeaster. The offshore origin is confirmed by the presence of the two barnacles on the shell. Although the juvenile was transported back to the sea, its ultimate survival remains in doubt.

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Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758) Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle

Big Talbot Island State Park, Duval County, Florida 9/24/2004 (about 70 mm.)