Sea turtles are relatively fast in the ocean. Leatherback sea turtles can swim up to 9.3 kph, which is about 5.8 mph–a pretty decent speed in my book. Too bad they are not fast enough to escape BP’s Gulf accident. 5 of the 7 sea turtle species are being threatened by the Gulf spill.
The cruising speed for sea turtles is around 0.9-1.4 mph, however, leatherback turtles have been recorded at speeds up to 5.8mph.
Dr. George Shillinger says:
“Tough question with our satellite data because of location quality (error). But, our data suggested leatherbacks are capable of speeds greater than 75 km per day. But this figure is also influenced by current velocities… And not sure if the question is referring to sustained speeds or bursts of speed (ie predator evasion). Would be great to test in a controlled environment, but virtually impossible!”
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