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Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

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Brenda Justice and Robert Adami, TPWD Model of Kemps Ridely sea turtle Sea turtle hatchling making heading for the water
Why is the Kemp's Ridley endangered? How old can it live? Why does it like to lay eggs when it's windy? Brenda Justice talks with TPWD biologist Robert Adami who tells us this and more!
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USFWS specialist Bryan Adams answers your questions.
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What's in the tank? Connie Stolte, TPWD
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Kemp's Ridley Sea turtle
Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, found in coastal waters and bays of the Gulf and in the Atlantic Ocean, is the smallest, most endangered sea turtle. This reptile weighs 80 to 100 pounds and grows to 30 inches long. Little is known about its life in the open ocean. It prefers shallow waters close to shore where it feeds on such things as crabs, snails, clams and some plants, and often is caught and drowned in shrimp nets. Pollution, both chemical and plastic, affect it.


From April through August females lay clutches of soft, white eggs in sandy beaches from Veracruz, Mexico, to Corpus Christi, but few have nested on Texas beaches in recent years. When the young hatch in 50 to 70 days, they head for the water. In some areas, this turtle and its eggs are eaten by humans. Because it is critically endangered, the Ridley is the focus of international conservation efforts.


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