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black sand snooze | by qmnonic
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black sand snooze

It's easy to miss snoozing turtles on this black sand beach littered with rocky outcroppings. Most people walk right by without noticing, while others seem to get as close as possible with their disposable camera.


The sea turtles seem to spend a lot of time in this protected cove, snoozing on the beach, or feeding just offshore. It's hard to tell whether they are green turtles, or hawksbill turtles, but I believe this is a green based on the beak and behaviour in the water (eating seagrass).


The turtles look enormous on the beach and in the water. Mature green sea turtles can weigh an average of 440lbs, while hawksbill sea turtles are much smaller at 176lbs - both heavier than an average person.


Green turtles live a long time, up to 80 years, while Hawksbill turtles live to about 50. That's a lot of beach time. I'm jealous.


Both types of turtles are endangered, the hawksbill is critically endangered. Regardless of status (or size), I gave the turtles lots of room and watched from a comfortable distance.

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Taken on October 22, 2009