May 23 is the official day to celebrate turtles of all kinds, shapes and sizes! That’s right – today is World Turtle Day, and there’s no secret that all of us at Loggerhead Marinelife Center love turtles. To commemorate this fun holiday, we’ve come up with a quick list of why we think these reptiles are turtle-y awesome.

  1. Turtles teach us to slooow dowwwn

Ever feel like you’re just too busy? That life is a chaotic whirlwind of schedules and meetings and things? Pause for a moment, and think about the turtle. Turtles can be fast for a short burst if need be, but generally, they take things slowly. Enjoy the journey. Go with the current. Breathe. Be at ease in your own shell. We can definitely learn a thing or two from the turtle!

Skerry is a loggerhead sea turtle patient at LMC.

  1. Turtles are just plain cool!

When we say turtle here, we’re talking about the order Testudines. This scientific classification includes marine and freshwater turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Turtles carry their “shields” with them no matter where they go, can live up to several decades, represent wisdom and longevity in many cultures and, obviously, they’re just stinkin’ cute!

LMC’s research biologists measure a local wild gopher tortoise.

  1. They’re critical to conservation

At Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. We say, “the sea turtle tells us the health of the ocean; the ocean tells the health of the planet.” Sea turtles are the “canary in the coal mine,” informing us that the threats they face – like marine debris – are also faced by other marine life. LMC’s biologists conduct research projects on local leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtle populations, as well as local gopher tortoise populations. These studies help us understand the importance of turtles to our local coastal ecosystems – and the world.

A green sea turtle hatchling glides through the water at LMC.