Green sea turtle
Sea turtles

Green sea turtle

By: Johan

Green sea turtle classification
The Green sea turtle is often referred to simply as the Green turtle. The scientific name for this species is Chelonia mydas and it is the only member of the genus Chelonia in the family Chelonioidea.

There are two recognized subspecies of Chelonia mydas: Chelonia mydas mydas and Chelonia mydas agassizii. The first subspecies is commonly known as the Atlantic green sea turtle, while the second subspecies have several different common names, including Black sea turtle, Agassizii green sea turtle and Eastern Pacific green sea turtle. Despite the first one of these common names, Chelonia mydas agassizii does not inhabit the Black Sea. The Black sea turtle have a much darker carapace than the other Green sea turtles, hence the name.

Green sea turtle range
Green sea turtles inhabit in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. It is also found in the Black Sea as well as in the Mediterranean. The main Green sea turtle habitat is tropical and subtropical environments, but Green sea turtles are occasionally spotted in temperate waters as well. Green sea turtles are known to live of the coasts of more than 140 countries, and nesting female Green sea turtles have been reported from over 80 different countries. The local name for the Green sea turtle naturally varies according to geographical location. It is for instance known as Tortuga verde, Tortue verte, Tortuga blanca, Tortue franche and Tortue comestible. The Green sea turtle can embark on long journeys but we still know very little about the details of these travels. Research has shown the migratory routes to be highly complex.

Green sea turtle size
The Green sea turtle is one of the largest hard-shelled turtle species. The adult Green sea turtles typically reach a size of 70 to 150 centimetres and can weigh more than 200 kilograms. The males tend to grow bigger than the females, and the male Green sea turtle can also be distinguished on his long tail.

Green sea turtle description
The carapace of the Green sea turtle is brown, black or olive coloured rather than green, and the name Green sea turtle is instead derived from the shade of the fat found inside the body of a Green sea turtle. The green colour is caused by green algae that form a major part of the adult Green sea turtle diet. The colouration of the carapace will depend on geographical location. The Green sea turtle can not retract its head into the shell. The Green sea turtle is a capable swimmer that utilizes its paddle shaped limbs to gracefully journey through the ocean. 

One of the easiest ways of telling Chelonia mydas mydas apart from Chelonia mydas agassizii is to compare their body shape. They shell of a Chelonia mydas agassizii is higher and narrower than the shell of a Chelonia mydas mydas. The Agassizii green sea turtle also sports marinals that are more constricted over the hind legs and the postcentral lamina are quite long.


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