Beach goers can often see tiny heads bobbing up to breathe in the open waters – these belong to local sea turtles. Sea turtles have shells that are lighter than those of giant tortoises. Unlike the giant tortoise, the sea turtle can’t retract its heads into its shell. They can use their limbs as flippers to swim efficiently. Sea turtles can swim long distances, and are believed to move as fast as 35 miles per hour. The turtles go to the beaches to bask in the sun and lay eggs on several of the islands. The males never leave the ocean. The Galápagos National Park fiercely protects the egg-laying grounds for this endangered species.
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