Green Sea Turtle

Common Name:

Green Sea Turtle

Scientific Name:

Chelonia mydas

 

Conservation Status:

Endangered (current population trend = decreasing)

 

Description:

The green sea turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and can reach a maximum length of 1.2 metres, as well as being able to weigh over 300kg. Green sea turtles have a green-yellow coloured underbelly (cartilage & fat) and the carapace (shell) is smooth and a brown-olive colour. Their head is relatively small compared to their body and is nonretractable. Their head extends from their carapace. The carapace is large and has non-overlapping scutes/scales. The flippers are shaped like paddles and they have one or more claws. The males are larger than females and have longer tails.

 

Class:

Reptilia

 

Order:

Testudines (all turtles & tortoises)

 

Family:

Cheloniidae (all sea turtles with Scutes: Horny plates/scales on shells)

 

Diet:

Herbivores. They feed on sea grass and algae. Juvenile green sea turtles will also feed on invertebrates.

 

Habitat:

Subtropical and Tropical ocean waters. Their distribution is limited by temperature due to being cold blooded which means that they are unable to survive in cold climates.

 

Breeding:

Green sea turtles reach sexual maturity between the ages of 20 and 50 years old. They nest in over 80 countries and always return to their birth place to lay their eggs.

 

Life Span:

Estimated to live over 80 years.

 

Interesting Fact:

Unlike other sea turtles, the green sea turtle leaves the water to bask in the sun. This makes them easy prey.

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