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Definitive Proof That Turtles Are The Most Kick-Arse Sea Creatures Ever

Turtle power!

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Here’s something you should know about turtles. They are actual ninjas.

tane-mahuta

Heroes in a half shell!

mychadre77

Before they’re even born, turtle babies are vulnerable in their nests, drawing predators like dingoes, foxes and goannas, who see them as a tasty treat.

Marco Saracco

Fun fact: The sex of the baby turtles depends on how warm their nest is – cool nests produce males, while warmer ones make females.

Obviously the product of a really cool nest.
be_low

Obviously the product of a really cool nest.

If they're not attacked by predators, they break out of their eggs after 45 to 70 days,

They chill in the nest for a few days after hatching to absorb their yolk, giving them strength for what’s to come. Spoiler: it's a lot of danger.
Flickr: braindamaged217 / Creative Commons

They chill in the nest for a few days after hatching to absorb their yolk, giving them strength for what’s to come. Spoiler: it's a lot of danger.

After dusk, they dig themselves out from under the sand in a coordinated effort.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Then instinctively head towards the water, guided by the horizon.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

This is the most dangerous time in a turtle's life.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

As the hatchlings head to the ocean, just minding their own business, predators like gulls and crabs treat the beach like their own personal smorgasbord.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Artificial light also poses a risk to these babies.

The hatchlings that do make it to the ocean are then potential food for sharks and large fish, who wait in the shallows for their pray.

To get away from predators, they swim like mad once they’re in the water and then disappear for years.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Seriously, nobody knows what happens to baby turtles during the first few years of their lives.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

For all we know, they could be out there rescuing clown fish in distress, being the superheroes of the sea.

Disney / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Or maybe just eating pizza.

Limelight / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

But basically the chances of them surviving to adulthood are sweet fuck all.*

*Actual scientific term. OK, not really – their chances of surviving are less than 1%.
Flickr: greensmps / Creative Commons

*Actual scientific term. OK, not really – their chances of surviving are less than 1%.

Which means the ones that do are absolute freaking champions.

Flickr: fugm10 / Creative Commons

The good news is once they’re adults, basically nothing kills turtles.

Except humans. :(
Flickr: fugm10 / Creative Commons

Except humans. :(

They own the ocean, swimming thousands of kilometres between feeding grounds and nesting sites.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Turtles usually return to the very same beach they hatched to make their own babies.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Females mate every few years, while males give it a go every year. They mate in the water, and it can take up to two hours.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

During which time the male clings to the female's back, while she swims around, surfacing for air when they need it, and also trying to fend off other males who want in on the action.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Then the male chills in the ocean while the female drags herself up the beach, above the high tide line, to dig a hole and lay up to 200 eggs.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

She covers the nest and returns to the sea to do it all over again. During nesting season - which is happening right now in Queensland - female turtles can lay up to six lots of eggs.

youtube.com / Via Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

And the cycle continues!

italiansight

No matter how badarse they are, due to predators, climate change and habitat destruction, these turtles are endangered

Flickr: uofdenver / Creative Commons

One of the ways that people can help is by "adopting" a hatchling.

shalamov

And hopefully these little ninjas will be around for a long time to come.

petesphotography