Olive Ridley Sea Turtle | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Overview


The Olive ridley sea turtle is a relatively small marine turtle species, characterized by its heart-shaped carapace, which is typically olive-green to grayish-brown in color. Their flippers are paddle-like and relatively short in proportion to their body.

Their plastron, the underside of the shell, is pale yellow. Olive ridley turtles have distinctive, somewhat pointed heads with serrated jaws. Adult females are generally larger than males, with lengths of up to 2 feet (about 60 cm), while males are smaller, reaching around 1.5 feet (about 45 cm) in length

Origins And Evolution

The Olive ridley sea turtle has ancient origins dating back to prehistoric times. These turtles belong to the family Cheloniidae, indicating their evolutionary connection to other sea turtle species. Fossils of sea turtles resembling the Olive ridley have been discovered in geological records dating back millions of years.

Over time, they have evolved unique adaptations for their oceanic lifestyle, such as streamlined bodies, flippers for efficient swimming, and the ability to migrate vast distances for nesting. Their evolutionary history has allowed them to become well-suited to the marine environment.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Olive ridley sea turtles are known for their solitary and nomadic lifestyle at sea, where they spend most of their lives. They are primarily pelagic, meaning they roam the open ocean, often far from shore. These turtles are strong swimmers, capable of covering long distances and diving to great depths.

During nesting season, females return to specific beaches in synchronized arribadas, massive gatherings where thousands of turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. After nesting, they return to their oceanic existence, engaging in seasonal migrations and foraging on a diet consisting mainly of jellyfish and other soft-bodied organisms.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Cheloniidae
  • Genus: Lepidochelys
  • Species: Lepidochelys olivacea

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Locations

  • Pacific Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Eastern Pacific Ocean
  • Western Pacific Ocean
  • Coastal regions and beaches worldwide
  • Specific nesting sites in countries such as India, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

Fast Facts

  • Name: Olive Ridley
  • Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
  • Habitat: Global Oceans
  • Diet: Omnivorous, Crustaceans
  • Physical Features: Heart-shaped Shell
  • Nocturnal: Limited Activity
  • Solitary: Migratory Nesting
  • Unique Order: Testudines Family
  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Fun Facts: Arribada Nesting,

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Olive Green
  • Skin Type: Smooth Shell
  • Top Speed: 15 mph
  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • Weight: 75-100 lbs
  • Length: 2-2.5 ft
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 15-20 years
  • Age of Weaning: Not Applicable


What is an Olive ridley sea turtle?

An Olive ridley sea turtle is a species of marine turtle known for its distinctive olive-green carapace and unique nesting behavior.

Where are Olive ridley sea turtles found?

They are found in oceans worldwide, primarily in warm tropical and subtropical waters.

What do Olive ridley sea turtles eat?

Their diet mainly consists of jellyfish, but they also consume other soft-bodied marine organisms like algae and tunicates.

Why are they called "Olive ridley" turtles?

They are named for their olive-green carapace, and "ridley" may have been derived from the scientist Sir Henry Hudson Ridley who described the species.

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