Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Turtles of Montserrat

Montserrat Post issued a set of stamps feature marine turtles on August 8, 2007. The issue stamps depict 5 species of marine turtles,e.g:  Hawksbill turtle, Green turtle, Leatherback turtle, Loggerhead turtle, and Kemps Ridley turtle

The present of stamp in a sheetlet comprised of four stamps and one souvenir sheet comprised of one stamp.


Kemp's ridley is a small living sea turtle species, reaching maturity at 60–90 centimetres long and averaging only 45 kilograms . Its colour is olive green above and yellowish below.

Kemp's ridley sea turtles generally prefer warm waters. Their range includes the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.The Kemp's ridley turtle feeds on molluscs, crustaceans, jellyfish, algae or seaweed, and sea urchins.

The hawksbill's appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like arms, adapted for swimming in the open ocean.  

This is a relatively small species of sea turtles. It is identified by its thick, overlapping shell scutes and its four pairs of lateral scutes.

The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae.  The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies.

The green  turtle (Chelonia mydas), is a large sea turtle of the family Cheloniidae.
It is listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES and is protected from exploitation in most countries.

Its range extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 

Like other sea turtles, the green  turtle migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. In its adult stage it is dark olive or grey with dark blotches. Its length is up to 1.5 meters.

Females crawl out on beaches, dig nests and lay eggs during the night. Later, hatchlings emerge and walk into the water.  Those that reach maturity may live to age 80 in the wild.

The leatherback turtle or (Dermochelys coriacea) is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell.

This is the largest of sea turtles and may weigh from 700 – 1600 lbs. Its leathery, white-spotted, black or dark grey shell has pronounced longitudinal ridges. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.

The leatherback is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, and its range extends well into the Arctic Circle. Leatherback turtles can be found primarily in the open ocean.

It is identified by its reddish-brown carapace and its yellow belly.The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), or loggerhead, is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae.

The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs.

The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then become quiescent, producing no eggs for two to three years.


Marine turtles have been subject to massive over-exploitation and sadly they are now threatened with extinction.

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