Marine turtles have been roaming the world's oceans for about 190 million years. Today eight species of these ancient reptiles remain. Five of these species regularly visit the sandy beaches of Sri Lanka to nest. Throughout the world, marine turtles are hunted and butchered for their flesh and shells. Even female turtles that have hauled themselves up the beach to nest are killed and their eggs are stolen. The result of this global over exploitation is that this highly successful group of animals, which managed to survive with the dinosaurs, has become critically endangered. All species of marine turtle face extinction if man does not cease his destructive activities.