Green Sea Turtle Facts
The Green Sea Turtle which is popularly known for its hard-shelled body is one of the largest sea turtle in the world. It belongs to the Cheloniidae family and its binomial name is Chelonia mydas.
Green Sea Turtles are usually found in the tropical and subtropical seas. They live in warm shallow water as they are cold-blooded animals and can not produce heat inside the body themselves. They are called by the name Green Sea Turtle because of the fat found in their body under the carapace. They are reptiles, ancestors of whose used to evolve in the land once and went back to the water for living. Green Sea Turtles also observed the evolvement of the dinosaurs.
This beautiful creature can weigh up to 200 kilograms and grow 4-5 feet long. They have a beautiful flat carapace which can be of various colors. Green Sea Turtles need oxygen to keep their physical activities working. They usually live under the water most of the time of their lifespan but they come on the sea surface to breathe-in oxygen. Their lungs are developed to provide them with the necessary supports which are needed to dive underwater for a long time. They have two large flippers which enables them to swim at the speed of 35 mph.
Juvenile Turtles are omnivorous and adults are usually herbivorous. They have the same enzyme as cows to digest herbs. But adult green sea turtles have rarely been observed in the wild to know their food habit.
They pass most of their lifespan under the sea but female turtles need to return to the land to lay eggs. Upon maturity, turtles need to do great migration to lay eggs. Usually male turtles do not accompany the female turtles while laying eggs. They mate the female turtles offshore. Male turtles try to mate every year but female turtles usually mate every two or three years. It takes approximately 60 days to incubate eggs. The newborn turtles can come out of the eggs themselves and head towards the sea seeing the reflection of moon on the sea water.
This mighty animal usually gets sexually mature at the age of 25 and can live up to 80 years in the wild.
They have been declared as an endangered species by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) and CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). This species has been endangered by numerous natural and human created reasons. Erosion of sea-beaches and reclamation of sea lands harm their nesting areas. Unplanned tree plantation in the sea beach causes the disruption in the ratio of the male and female turtles as the sex of turtles depend on the incubator temperature which can be varied with the shade of the trees. Artificial light sources near the sea beach also hamper the proper hatching process. Pollution of water causes some severe diseases to the turtles. It creates tumor which results in a disease known as fibropapillomatosis. Besides, because of being caught by humans and eaten by predators like shark, crab, sea fish, birds, they are getting extinct day by day.