Name: Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Order: Turtles (Testudines)
Family: Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)
What they look like
- With a length of 28 to 60 inches and weight of up to 450 pounds, green sea turtles are some of the largest turtles around.
- Their smooth upper shell can be gray, green, brown, or black and their lower shell is yellowish white.
- Males are larger than females and have longer tails.
Where they live
- Green sea turtles are found in subtropical and tropical oceans worldwide, including the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
- Their preference for warmer waters, those above 20°C, is due to their sensitivity to cold and heat.
- Males spend their entire lives out at sea, while females only come out of the water to lay eggs.
What they eat
- Adult green sea turtles are strict plant eaters and spend much of their time eating algae in the ocean or grass in shallow waters.
- However, young green sea turtles are also able to eat jellyfish, worms, snails, sponges, and crabs.
- Every 2 to 3 years, females travel to the same beach they were born to lay their eggs.
- She digs a deep nest using her back legs.
- Lays 100 to 200 eggs, and covers her nest with sand.
- The young hatch after about 2 months and head straight for sea.
Cool Biology Facts
- Some female green sea turtles have been observed digging a fake nest next to their real nest in order to deceive predators who might want to eat the eggs.
- Green sea turtles have been known to travel 3,000 miles at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour!
- Green sea turtles are considered an endangered species. Their main threats include loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development and hunting for their meat, hides, and eggs.