Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas (Description & key biological parameters, distribution range & habitats, and feeding habits) Video

This photo was taken in Monterey Bay Aquarium, USA.

The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas is the largest species of the Cheloniidae family.

Green sea turtles are named after the green color of their body fat which is green from the plants they eat.

Description and key biological parameters: Green sea turtles are one of the very and few species that watched the evolving and extinction of the dinosaurs many of millions of years ago. Green sea turtles are cold-blooded animals, have scaled skin, and they breathe air.

Like all species of turtles, green sea turtles have a highly developed protective bony outer shell which protects them from predators. While most species of land turtles are able to retract their heads into their shells for extra protection, sea turtles are not able to do so, and their heads remain out at all times.

They are easily distinguished from other sea turtles because they have a single pair of prefrontal scales rather than two pairs as found on other sea turtles.

Size: Adults may measure 80-120 cm in carapace length and weigh between 100-200 kg.

Distribution range and habitats: the green sea turtles are found in all temperate, subtropical and tropical waters of the world’s oceans. They stay mainly near the coastline and around islands and live in bays and protected shores, especially in areas such as coral reefs and rocky shorelines whereas sea grasses and algae are abundant. They are rarely observed in the open ocean.

Feeding habits: feeding habits of green sea turtles change significantly as the green turtle grows. Juvenile green sea turtles are carnivorous as their diet consists of jellyfish, worms, young crustaceans, aquatic insects, grasses and algae. Unlike other sea turtles, adult green sea turtles become strictly herbivores, feeding on sea grass that grows in shallow lagoons. Their finely serrated jaws help them in tearing vegetation. Also, the bacteria that are found in their guts will act on the digestion on plant material. Because of this feeding habit of the adult green sea turtle, they do not pose a threat to other marine animals.

Sources: Earth Justice and variety of records and publications



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