Caretta caretta   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Turtle)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Reptilia

Image copyrights: Matthew Godfrey

Weight: 200 kg

Carapace length: 80- 100 cm

Carapace shape: Moderately broad, lightly serrated posterior margin in immatures, thickened area of carapace at base of 5th vertebral in adult.

Color: In adults the color of the shell is reddish brown above and dull brown beneath.

Head shape: Large and broadly triangular

Limbs: Two claws on each flipper

Plastron: Yellow to orange

Loggerhead sea turtle has an elongated carapace that tapers posteriorly and has 5 pairs of costals, 11 pairs of marginal and 5 vertebrates. In adults, the carapace in dorsal view is heart-shaped; its width about 76 to 86 percent of its length. Head large; broad and subtriangular; 23 to 28 percent of carapace length; with 2 pairs of prefrontal scales; and commonly one inter-prefrontal; horny beak very strong; comparatively thicker than in other sea turtles. The massive jaws are adapted to crushing hard shell prey.

This species has superficial resemblance to Olive Ridley. It is reportedly cannibal, devouring its own hatchlings.

Clutches per season: 3- 5

Clutch size: 100- 120

Egg size: approx 4 cm in diameter

Synonym (s)
Chelonia caretta Dyce, 1861
Thalassochelys caretta Boulenger, 1886
Caouana elongata Gray, 1844
(Junior Synonym)
Chelonia caouana Dumeril & Bibron, 1835
(Junior Synonym)
Testudo caouana Lacepede, 1788
(Junior Synonym)
Testudo caretta Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior Synonym)
Testudo cephalo Schneider, 1783
(Junior Synonym)
Testudo corianna Gray, 1831
(Junior Synonym)
Testudo nasicornis Lacepede, 1788
(Junior Synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Loggerhead Turtle (English)
• Loggerhead (English)
• Logerhead Sea Turtle (English)
• Perunthalai amai (Tamil)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Eco tourism)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Incidental capture in trawl nets, loss of nesting habitat and exploitation.)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Reef Associated, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Molluscs, crustaceans, fish, algae, jellyfish and sea urchins.
Predator:  Shark
IUCN Status:  Endangered


• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar (Lat: 8.5) (Long: 79) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Off Tuticorin INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Hasbun, CR; Lawrence, AJ; Samour, JH and AlGhais, SM (2000) Preliminary observation on the biology of green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from the United Arab Emirates Aquatic conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 10 311-322 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Venkataraman, K and Milton, MCJ (2003) Marine turtles of India ZSI, Calcutta 87 pp
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Baldwin, R (1996) Marine reptiles Natural Emirates: wildlife and environment of the United Arab Emirates Trident Press 135-148 Available at - ZOOR:ZOOR13500003184
  • Brown, JNB (1985) Recent turtle records from the United Arab Emirates Marine Turtle Newsletter Available at - ZOOR:ZOOR12200052989
  • Frazier, J (1984) Marine turtles in the Seychelles and adjacent territories Monographiae Biologicae 55 417-468 Available at - Zoological Records
  • AlMohanna, SY and Meakins, RH (2000) Recent records of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta and Eretmochelys imbricata) in Kuwait Zoology in the Middle East 20 33-36 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Islam, MZ (2002) Threats to sea turtles in St. Martins Island, Bangladesh Kachhapa Newsletter 6 Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh)
  • Frazier, J (1981) Status of sea turtles in the central western Indian Ocean Biology and conservation of sea turtles Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 385-389 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Borkar, M (2005) Marine mammals, turtles and crocodiles: A field manual NIO, Goa 63 pp Available at - NIO
  • MarineBio Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Untawale, AG; Dhargalkar, VK and Deshmukhe, GV (2000) Prioritization of potential sites for marine biodiversity conservation in India Setting biodiversity conservation priorities for India: Summary of the findings and conclusions of the biodiversity conservation prioritization project World Wide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi (India) Available at -
  • Venkataraman, K and Wafar, M (2005) Coastal and marine biodiversity of India Indian Journal of Marine Sciences 34(1) 57-75 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Murugan, A (2005) Sea turtles in and around Tuticorin coast, Tamil Nadu: facts and problems Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 250-252 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Shenoy S, Berlie T and Shanker K (2011) Sea Turtles of India A Comprehensive Field Guide to Research, Monitoring and Conservation Dakshin Foundation and MCB Trust 148pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2012-11-05

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