Green sea turtle facts & information
Sea turtles
 

Green sea turtle facts & information

By: Johan

Green sea turtle facts & information – Classification
The Green sea turtle is the only species found in the genus Chelonia in the family Cheloniidae (true sea turtles). The family Cheloniidae belongs to the order Chelonia (turtles and tortoises) in the class Reptilia (reptiles). The scientific name for the Green sea turtle is Chelonia mydas.

There exists two recognized subspecies of Green sea turtle: Chelonia mydas mydas and Chelonia mydas agassizii. The first subspecies is also known as Atlantic green sea turtle is the most commonly found variant of Green sea turtle. The second subspecies is known as Eastern pacific green sea turtle, Black sea turtle and Hawaiian green sea turtle. 

Green sea turtle facts & information – Common names
The Green sea turtle is also known as Honu,Tortue comestible, Tortue franche, Tortue verte, Tortuga verde and Tortuga blanca. As mentioned above, Chelonia mydas mydas is commonly referred to as the Atlantic green sea turtle and Chelonia mydas agassizii is called Eastern pacific green sea turtle, Black sea turtle or Hawaiian green sea turtle.

Green sea turtle facts & information – Physical description
When a Green sea turtle emerge from the egg, it weighs no more than one ounce and the shell is hardly ever bigger than 2 inches in length. Juvenile Green sea turtles will typically weigh around 200-350 pounds and the shell will have grown to at least 2.5 feet. The adult Green sea turtle weight up to 400 pounds and have a 4 feet long shell.

The shell of the Green sea turtle is decorated with a mottled dark brown colour on the top. Below, you can see a creamy white colour. If algae start growing on the shell, the Green sea turtle can look green, but the name Green sea turtle is not linked to the colour of the shell. The name is instead derived from the colour of the body fat. Green sea turtles consume large amounts of green algae that eventually turn their body fat green. 

Green sea turtle facts & information - Feeding
As mentioned above, the Green sea turtle consume large amounts of algae. Adult Green sea turtles are chiefly herbivore, and in addition to algae they appreciate seaweed such as the stinging limu plant. Juvenile Green sea turtles are instead omnivore feeders and will frequently substitute algae and plants with jellyfish, fish eggs and similar food types until they have reached an age of 3-7 years.

Green sea turtle facts & information – Predators
Adult Green sea turtles are generally left alone in the ocean, and the only known predator is the Tiger shark. Green sea turtle hatchlings are on the other hand preyed upon by a wide range of animals. The trip from the nest to the ocean is especially perilous for the young Green sea turtles and a large percent of the hatchlings will fall prey to birds and reptiles. In the ocean, they are consumed by fish, crabs and other larger ocean dwelling creatures. Humans also pose a large threat to the Green Sea turtle and eggs as well as hatchlings are gathered on the beaches by humans. Catching the females when they emerge from the water to nest are common since they are quite helpless on land. The human introduction of cats, dogs and other domesticated animals to the nesting beaches is also a problem for the Green sea turtle.


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