Loggerhead sea turtle

A male loggerhead sea turtle is pictured at the Oklahoma Aquarium in this undated photo. People are invited to submit names for the turtle online at okaquarium.org through Oct. 1. Courtesy

JENKS — The Oklahoma Aquarium wants your help in naming a sea turtle.

The aquarium is holding a naming contest for one of two of its male loggerhead sea turtles in honor of the turtle’s 25th birthday.

People are invited to submit their best names online at okaquarium.org through Oct. 1.

The aquarium will select five names as finalists, then the public will vote for their favorite name. Voting will take place in person at the Oklahoma Aquarium, and voters will receive an “I Voted” sea turtle sticker.

The winning name will be revealed at the aquarium’s Sea Turtle birthday party on Nov. 9, from 2-4 p.m.

Festivities will include special treats, gifts and fun activities, the aquarium said in a news release.

The person who submits the winning name will receive an Oklahoma Aquarium prize pack and free admission to the party.

The “Sea Turtle Island” exhibit at the aquarium opened to the public in March 2017.

The aquarium actually has two male sea turtles that are brothers, but only one is on display at a time because males are territorial and “try to dominate each other” when together, said Andrea Leitch, the aquarium’s chief marketing officer.

One of the turtles has a spot on back of his neck. The naming contest is for the turtle that does not have the spot.

Loggerhead sea turtles are the most abundant of all marine turtles in U.S. coastal waters, according to nationalgeographic.com.

But it is listed as a threatened species — one likely to become endangered, in danger of extinction, within the foreseeable future — under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act, according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

The greatest threat is loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, predation of nests, and human disturbances, such as coastal lighting and housing developments that cause disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings, the conservancy said.

Other major threats include incidental capture in longline fishing, shrimp trawling and pollution.

Loggerheads weigh between 155 and 375 pounds and can live 50 years or more.

They are primarily carnivorous and feed mostly on shellfish that live on the bottom of the ocean, including horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels and other invertebrates.

The turtles prefer to feed in coastal bays and estuaries, as well as in the shallow water along the continental shelves of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Admission to the aquarium is $17.95 for adults, and $13.95 for children ages 3-12, military members and seniors 62 and older.

For questions about the contest or birthday party, email marketing@okaquarium.org.

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Michael Dekker 918-581-8469



Twitter: @michaeldekkerTW

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