Sea turtles have been on Earth for millions of years, but they are in danger of going extinct. The main threat to them is people who kill them for food, according to Dr. Wallace J. Nichols of the California Academy of Sciences and The Ocean Conservancy.
But the latest news may slow turtle hunting: Dr. Nichols and other scientists have found that sea turtles (family Cheloniidae) absorb a lot of pollution from the ocean, including pesticides and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. These toxins are health hazards for both turtles and humans and can cause permanent damage to their bodies. Sea turtles also carry the bacteria salmonella, which can cause severe diarrhea in people. Research shows that many people get sick and even die from eating sea turtle meat.