The Turtles of the Pacific Northwest
Turtles live mainly in water, there are about 250 species. Some can live up to 150 years or more.
The largest one that visits the B.C. Coastal Region is the leather-back, it can reach a shell length of almost 3 meters and weigh up to 900 kilos.
Though they move very slow on land , the leather-back’s can swim quite fast and some turtles can dive to more than a 1000 meters deep.
They do not have ears to hear and can only feel vibrations, but their sense of smell is very strong.
Some migrate thousands of kilometers by traveling under water and yet, they are able to arrive at the same beach from where they took off, scientists are still trying to figure out how they do this, l would suspect that they use their sense of smell to accomplish this.
The only native ones left on Vancouver Island is the painted turtle, although there is the introduced red eared slider and the snapping turtle being found on parts of the Island now, a result of pet store turtles being turned loose.
Sometimes you can see them stacked 3 or 4 high on a good sunning spot, this quite amazing to observe but it seems there are only so many good spots.