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Lauren McGrory Sea turtles have existed since their giant land turtle ancestors returned to the sea sometime during the Age of Dinosaurs Although there were many species of sea turtles back then only eight species have managed to survive modern times The green black loggerhead Kemps Ridley olive ridley hawksbill flatback and leatherback turtles are in existence on our planet today All eight species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or dangered on the US Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants List It is illegal to harm or in any way interfere with a sea turtle of its eggs wwwgeocitiescomseaturtleshtml 2001 The first turtles appeared 245 to 208 million years ago Fossil records conclude that the earliest known sea turtles were recorded 208 to 144 million years ago Most scientists believe that modern sea turtles came from marsh-inhabiting ancestors Bustard Sea turtles are found in warm and temperate seas throughout the world Their habitats include shallow coastal waters bays lagoons and estuaries Since sea turtles exist all over the world it becomes extremely hard to protect them wwwseaworldorgsthabitathtml 2001 Migration habits depend on the species of turtle as well as the different populations of the same species in a particular area While some sea turtles nest and feed in the same general areas others migrate large distances Scientists often track migration of the different species of turtles by using the method of flipper tagging This method allows scientists to obtain information on migration Lauren McGrory 2 destinations but it does not reveal travel routes wwwseaworldorgsthabitathtml 2001 It is extremely difficult to obtain figures on the populations of sea turtles because most juvenile and male sea turtles dont come ashore to count The population data is based on the numbers of adult females that come ashore to nest This method of collecting data is sometimes inaccurate due to the inconsistency of nesting habits among the female populations Researchers tend to rely more
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