June 2023 – Veligandu Island
Local Time
28 oC Temperature

Turtle Behaviour and Facts

The Maldivian archipelago is home to five of the seven species of sea turtles, green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The waters around Veligandu Island is frequented by the critically endangered Hawkbills and endangered Green Sea turtles.

Green sea turtles are the largest of all hard-shelled sea turtles. They can grow to about 120cm long and weigh between 135 and 160 kg. It reaches adulthood between 15 to 50 years of age.

Turtle Courtship

As seen at 1.29 seconds on the video
During mating season, males may court a female by nuzzling her head or gently biting her neck and rear flippers. If the female does not flee, the male attaches himself to the back of the female’s shell by gripping her top shell with claws in his front flippers. He then folds his long tail under her shell to copulate.
A unique communication method utilized by turtles is biting.

When some male turtles try to woo females to mate, they approach them underwater, and then the turtle will face the other and flutter or vibrate its front claws around the female turtle’s head. When the female turtle catches sight of this and is amenable to the invitation, they drop to the aquatic floor.

Sleeping and Resting

As seen at 2.38 seconds on the video
Turtles generally sleep for about 4 to 7 hours each night. They might also nap during the day or sleep for long periods if they’re hibernating. They may also rest in their basking area for long hours.

They swim to the ocean surface to breathe.
Sea turtles breathe air with their lungs. Even when they sleep, expect them to wake up frequently to breathe.

When snorkelling and diving, maintain distance from the turtles
Avoid touching turtles and corals
Avoid chasing turtles
Turtles can hold their breath for hours, but if we stress them by blocking or chasing them, they can drown in a few seconds.

Sometimes, they can be very curious

Turtles are solitary hunters

The hawksbill sea turtle has a narrow head adapted to get food from coral reef crevices. The jaws of a loggerhead sea turtle are adapted for crushing and grinding.

They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help to maintain the health of our coral reefs and the sea grass beds.

In Veligandu house reef, mostly hawksbill sea turtles are seen, and the Hotspots for turtles are In front of the main restaurant and Athiri Bar.

[Related: Veligandu’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For North Ari Atoll Maldives » ]

Visiting Veligandu?

The island will reopen on November 1, 2024. Contact reservations@veligandu.com for future reservations.

When the resort reopens, guests can directly access the house reef to see turtles from their villa or islands beach by taking an excursion with Veligandu or with the Veligandu dive centre.


book your stay