Identity card

LATIN NAME: Caretta caretta

FAMILY: Cheloniidae

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Reptilia

This large marine turtle is found in many areas of the world. It has a large head and a powerful beak.

The loggerhead sea turtle lives close to the coast and is a migratory species.

It is a carnivore reptile which feeds on jellyfish, sponges and echinoderms. It also eats fish, crustaceans or even seaweed, shredding it with its beak.

It measures approximately 1.2 metres and weighs between 150 and 250 kg.

  • Distribution :

    After the green sea turtle, the loggerhead sea turtle is the most common turtle. It is found mainly in tropical or subtropical waters and also in temperate or even cold seas.
  • IUCN Status :

    Vulnerable Trade in turtles is prohibited, except with special exemption. It is also protected by the Bonn Convention.

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Did you know ?

Find out more about the loggerhead sea turtle
Biomimetics: the turtle has inspired the construction of the u-cat undersea robot for observing different seabed environments without creating turbulence.


If present in sufficient numbers, loggerhead sea turtles can play an important part in controlling jellyfish populations; an adult loggerhead sea turtle can swallow several hundred Pelagia stinging jellyfish a day.

The loggerhead sea turtle is under threat on several counts: hunting, being accidentally caught in drift nets and the propellers of pleasure boats, tourism and urban development which are destroying their laying sites, etc.

NAUSICAA’s loggerhead sea turtle was born on 20 June 2011 in a partner institution. It is one of the first loggerhead sea turtles born in captivity in Europe, a major event for a species under such threat in the wild.

The temperature of the turtles’ habitat has an effect on the incubation time and sex of the embryos.

When the time comes to lay, they leave the water to dig a nest and then lay about a hundred eggs. Then then cover them up before returning to the sea. This operation generally takes less than an hour.

46 days: The incubation time for the eggs of the loggerhead sea turtle lasts between 46 and 71 days.




Crédits photo du bandeau : © Sophie Fallon
Crédits photo de la galerie : © Sophie Fallon / © S.Pannier

Activities AT NAUSICAA


Every day, there are events focused on Nausicaa’s main species. With training and feeding sessions and talks on life in Europe’s largest aquarium, your visit will be a rich and entertaining experience!
Learn about the life of fishes, hear some surprising stories and enjoy the antics of some amazing animals.

Meet our 58 000 animals