Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Caretta caretta (State Status: S1; critically imperiled)


Loggerhead Sea Turtles are large pelagic turtles that can be observed in the Gulf of Mexico, and may be seen close to coastal Mississippi foraging or nesting. Sea turtles are endangered and should not be bothered, handled, or captured. Loggerheads can be very large, and are usually brown or reddish in color. 

Loggerhead Sea Turtle on a beach, McIntosh Co. (GA), © Grover Brown

Identifying Traits

  • Brown or reddish in color
  • 5 or more pleural scutes on each side of shell, first comes in contact with cervical scute


Oceanic, may be encountered eating jellyfish during blooms, occasionally nests on natural beaches and barrier islands


Pelagic, nests on beaches, forages on gelatinous prey and algae


Jellyfish, algae

Juvenile Loggerhead, McIntosh Co. (GA),
© Grover Brown