Although beautifully adapted for swimming underwater, marine reptiles still need to come to the surface regularly to breathe. Marine reptiles mate at sea, but they need to come to land to lay their eggs, although some sea snakes give birth to live young. The marine reptiles encountered at LHI include sea turtles and sea snakes.
Sea turtles visit Lord Howe Island, but do not breed here. The most common sea turtles you may see are Green Turtles Chelonia mydas, which are mainly herbivores that feed on algae and seagrasses. Other Sea Turtles are mainly carnivores that eat a variety of food including cnidarians, molluscs, crustaceans, ascidians and fish. Sea snakes are highly venomous and feed on a variety of small reef fish such as gobies, or on fish eggs. Sea snakes can survive out of the water for some time and should not be handled, even if they appear to be dead.