The Loggerhead, scientific name Caretta caretta, is one of the largest sea turtles, measuring up to 4 feet in length and weighing more than 250 pounds on average. They are named for their larger, powerful jaws that are used to break through the hard shells of crabs and conches, which are part of their regular diet. Found in almost every ocean, the Loggerhead is the most abundant sea turtle in U.S. waters and has nesting beaches from Texas to Virginia.
- Loggerheads are Endangered worldwide according to the IUCN Red List
- The only species with a larger habitat range than the Loggerhead is the Leatherback
- Females can nest up to seven times per mating season, with each clutch containing up to 120 eggs
- The major threats to the Loggerhead include marine pollution, poaching and habitat loss
Loggerheads have been recorded to weigh up to 1,000 pounds and were once greatly hunted for their fat to be used in cosmetics and medications. Currently, Loggerheads in the U.S. face other threats, such as predation from raccoons that destroy up to 95% of nests each year.