Green Sea Turtle | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Green Sea Turtle | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Green Sea Turtle Overview


The green sea turtle boasts a streamlined body with a heart-shaped carapace, covered in smooth, olive-green skin. Its flippers are well-adapted for efficient swimming, while its distinctively large head houses powerful jaws for its herbivorous diet.

Origins And Evolution

Green sea turtles, part of the Cheloniidae family, have a lineage dating back over 100 million years, making them some of the oldest living reptiles. Evolving from terrestrial ancestors, they adapted to aquatic life and developed specialized features such as flippers for swimming and a streamlined body.

Their herbivorous nature led to changes in their jaw structure and digestive system to process seagrass and algae. Throughout their history, green sea turtles have faced challenges from predators, habitat changes, and human activities.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Green sea turtles are renowned for their long migrations, traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles between feeding and nesting grounds. They are strong swimmers, aided by their streamlined bodies and powerful flippers.

As herbivores, they play a crucial role in marine ecosystems by consuming seagrasses and algae.

Green Sea Turtle Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Cheloniidae
  • Genus: Chelonia
  • Species: C. mydas

Green Sea Turtle Locations

  • Pacific Ocean
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Caribbean Sea
  • Gulf of Mexico

Fast Facts

  • Name: Green Sea Turtle
  • Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
  • Habitat: Oceans, coastlines
  • Diet: Seagrasses, algae
  • Physical Features: Distinctive shell
  • Nocturnal: Nocturnal hatchlings
  • Solitary: Often solitary
  • Unique Order: Testudines
  • Lifespan: 80-100 years
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Fun Facts: Long migrations

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Green hues
  • Skin Type: Scales and skin
  • Top Speed: 1.5-2 mph
  • Lifespan: 80-100 years
  • Weight: Heavy shells
  • Length: Impressive size
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 20-50 years
  • Age of Weaning: Not applicable

Green Sea Turtle FAQs

What do green sea turtles eat?

Green sea turtles are herbivores, primarily feeding on seagrasses and algae.

Why are they called green sea turtles?

The name comes from the greenish color of their fat, which was historically used for making cosmetics and other products.

Why are green sea turtles endangered?

They face threats from habitat destruction, pollution, accidental capture in fishing gear, and climate change affecting their nesting sites.

Do green sea turtles migrate?

Yes, green sea turtles undertake long migrations between feeding and nesting areas, traveling thousands of miles.

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