Turtles are reptiles characterized by their bony outer shell which develops from their ribs, and subsequently acts as a shield. The earliest known members of this group date back approximately 157 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and older than both snakes or crocodiles. Of the known species alive today, many are considered to be highly endangered.
Turtles are cold blooded, as their internal temperature varies according to the ambient environment. However, because of their high metabolic rate, leatherback sea turtles have a body temperature that is noticeably higher than that of the surrounding water.
Box turtles are native to the United States and Mexico. They are largely characterized by having a domed shell, which is hinged at the bottom, allowing the animal to close its shell tightly to escape predators. Box turtles have become popular pets, although their needs in captivity are quite complex. The females usually have yellowish, brown eyes and the male’s, red or orange.
Of the species of sea turtles found across the globe, 6 come to the beaches around Mexico, which offers some of the best snorkeling in the world. If you are planning to visit the Riviera Maya during their nesting season, you might get to see the Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles.
If you are near the coast, or have run out of ideas for what to do in Playa del Carmen, consider taking a dive in the turquoise blue Caribbean Sea, and try your hand at swimming with sea turtles. Arguably the most majestic of all marine animals.