Easily distinguishable from other species of sea turtles because they have a single pair of prefrontal scales, (scales in front of its eyes), rather than the normal two pairs found on other sea turtles. The head is small and blunt with a serrated jaw. The carapace or shell is smooth without ridges and has large, non-overlapping bony scales or `scutes'- four lateral. The body is almost oval in shape and depressed whilst the flippers have a single visible claw. The shell colour varies from pale to very dark green, plain to very brilliant yellow with brown and green tones of radiating stripes. The plastron, (under shell) varies from white, dirty white or yellowish. Hatchlings are easily recognised by their dark-brown or nearly black shell and white bellies with white flipper margins.
Adult green turtles grow to as much as four feet in length and are the largest of the Cheloniidae, (Hawksbill Turtle), family. The largest recorded green turtle is six feet in length weighing nine hundred pounds.
The diet of the Green Turtle changes during its life, it is the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous or plant feeding when adult. Young turtles less than eight to ten inches in length will eat worms, young crustaceans, aquatic insects, grasses and algae. However, once they reach eight to ten inches they mostly eat sea grass and algae. Their jaws are finely serrated which aids them in tearing vegetation.
Their habitat is mainly waters close to the coastline and around islands, they live in bays and protected shores, especially in areas with sea grass beds. The green turtle is rarely seen in the open ocean.
Green turtles nest two or three times a year or more, with wide year-to-year fluctuations in numbers of nesting females. The turtle lays an average of 115 eggs in each nest, with the eggs incubating for about 60 days.
Green Turtles are found in all temperate and tropical waters throughout the world.
|The Leatherback Turtle - Dermochelys Coriacea||Turtle Data|
|The Olive Ridley||Turtle Conservation|
|Saving Turtles||Hawksbill Turtle - Eretmochelys imbricata|
|The Loggerhead Turtle: Caretta caretta||Turtle Hatchery|