Human use of nesting beaches for development and poaching, either for food or ornamentation, have been the main drivers of green sea turtle population decline. Green sea turtle hatchling makes its first steps from the beach to the sea.
Photo credit: iStock. Species Profile. Chelonia mydas. Last Updated on September 15, Share: Facebook Twitter Email. Conservation Status Endangered.
Type Reptiles. Fact Unlike their terrestrial counterparts, these marine turtles can reach speeds of up to 35 mph 56 kph.
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Species Profile Loggerhead Sea Turtle. Unlike most sea turtles, adult green turtles are herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and algae.
The disease kills a sizeable fraction of those it infects, though some individuals seem to resist the disease. Since green sea turtles are a migrating species, their global distribution spans into the open ocean. Retrieved February 23, Sea turtles are dependent on beaches for nesting. Hatchlings of Chelonia mydas , like those of other marine turtles, have mostly black carapaces and light-colored plastrons.
Juvenile green turtles, however, will also eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish, and sponges. While most sea turtles warm themselves by swimming close to the surface of shallow waters, the Eastern Pacific green turtle will take to land to bask in the sun. Occasionally seen sunbathing alongside seals and albatrosses, it is one of the few marine turtles known to leave the water other than at nesting times.
Green turtles, like other sea turtles, undertake lengthy migrations from feeding sites to nesting grounds, normally on sandy beaches. Mating occurs every two to four years and normally takes place in shallow waters close to the shore.
To nest, females leave the sea and choose an area, often on the same beach used by their mothers, to lay their eggs. They dig a pit in the sand with their flippers, fill it with a clutch of to eggs, cover the pit and return to the sea, leaving the eggs to hatch after about two months.
Multiple predators, including crabs and flocks of gulls, voraciously prey on hatchlings during this short scamper.
Green turtles are listed as an endangered species. Despite this, they are still killed for their meat and eggs. Their numbers are also reduced by boat propeller accidents, fishnet-caused drowning, and the destruction of their nesting grounds by human encroachment. Find out about sea turtles' oldest known ancestor, how certain adaptations may have helped the reptiles survive, and the conservation efforts being made to save them.