Green Sea Turtle
Scientific NameChelonia mydas
Native To Tropical and subtropical oceans around the world
Habitat Open ocean and coastal waters
Diet Omnivore: sea weed, jellyfish, invertebrates and algae
Size and Age Up to 1.22 m (4 ft) long and 150 kg (330 lbs); average lifespan of 60-80 years
- Green sea turtles are solitary for most of their lives, but congregate during mating season. Males and females of this species look identical until they reach sexual maturity (around 25-50 years old). Once mature, males have a longer tail and carapace, with mating claws that develop on the edge of their front flippers.
- Females will return to the same beach each year to lay their eggs, sometimes travelling thousands of kilometers to reach their spawning grounds. Because of the physical demand of travelling to distant beaches, female sea turtles will not reproduce every year. Instead they will breed only when their fat reserves are large enough to accommodate travel, sometimes between 2-4 years apart.
- Once hatched, green sea turtles must fight their way from their beachside nests to the sea. In doing so, they face predators from both land and sea. Out of the approximately 1,000 eggs laid, in several nests, only one hatchling will make it to adulthood.
- Young sea turtles start on a diet consisting of mainly jellyfish and invertebrates. As they grow older and larger, they switch their diet to seaweed and algae. Green sea turtles grow very slowly, taking over 20 years to reach their full size.