Marine turtles have been around for more than 100 million years ago. They lived alongside the dinosaurs.
Here are some things you might not know about them.
Although they breed in the tropics and subtropics, 5 of the 7 recognised species of turtle are found in New Zealand waters. Green and Leatherback turtles are the most common.
2. Cold water
Leatherback turtles prefer oceanic waters and can tolerate much colder temperatures than other turtle species. They are widely spread around New Zealand and have been recorded as far south as Fiordland but favour foraging grounds around Northland.
3. It's about the shell
Leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard shell like other turtles. They are the largest sea turtle species.
4. Change of diet
Adult green turtles are herbivorous, the only turtle species that are. Their hatchlings, however, are omnivorous eating a range of animals including jellyfish and fish eggs. As they grow they include seaweed and plants into their diet until they become entirely reliant on them.
5. It's not about the shell
Green turtles are named for the greenish colour of their cartilage and fat, not their shells.