Green Sea Turtle

By 22/06/2020Reptiles

The Green Sea Tutle’s name derives from the green fat that is found under their carapace. In some areas in the Pacific, the Green Sea Turtle is also named the Black Sea Turtle.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Latin name: Chelonia mydas
Order: Testudines
Family: Cheloniidae
Length: up to 120 cm
Weight: up to 135-160 kg
IUCN Status: Endangered

 

 

DESCRIPTION

  • Coloration: Greenish-black coloration
  • Head Shape: Rounded head
  • Scutes: 4 pairs on the carapace and 1 prefrontal pair
  • Carapace: Bony without ridge, smooth domed with teardrop shape

 

HABITAT

Green Sea Turtles are mostly in coastal areas. Rarely observed in open ocean. It is very rare to observe them in the Azores also due to their shy beahavior.

DIET

Green Sea Turtles are mainly herbivorous. They feed on seagrass, mangrove leaves and shoots, jellyfish and algae. In the Azores,adults are mostly associated with shallow coastal areas where algae are more abundant. Feeding dives are quite short, while they can dive to rest on the sea bottom for several hours.

 

REPRODUCTION & MIGRATION

Green turtles nest at intervals of about two years, with wide year-to-year fluctuations in numbers of nesting females. Nests between 3 to 5 times per season. They lay an average of 115 eggs in each clucth, with the eggs incubating for about 60 days. After mating in winter, only females come ashore to nest, and often return to nest on the beach where they were born. Males rarely return to land after crawling into the sea as hatchlings.

 

 

Marylou

About Marylou

Marylou is a Marine Biologist and Master in Oceanography. She is one of our Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL. She studied in Canada and Belgium, but is originally from France, and enjoys being out to sea everyday with whales & dolphins.

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