Fish Fridays Green Turtle

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Common Name: Green Turtle

Latin Name Chelonia mydas

Location: throughout tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.

Distinct Features and Information: The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is named for the greenish color of its body fat. Hatchlings are dark but adults have a smooth, olive-brown shell marked with darker streaks and spots. The bottom shell is white or yellowish and each paddle-shaped flipper usually has one claw. Green turtles can be distinguished from most other sea turtles by the single pair of scales on the front of the head. Unlike other members of its family such as the hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, Chelonia mydas is mostly herbivorous. Green turtles are found on broad expanses of shallow, sandy flats covered with sea grasses or in areas where seaweeds can be found. Scattered rocks, bars and coral heads are used as nighttime sleeping sites. Every morning the turtles head out to feed and every evening return to their particular shelter to sleep. The round trip may be several miles. Adult Green Sea Turtles may grow up to 39 inches (99cm) long.

Special Status or Protections: Chelonia mydas is listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES and is protected from exploitation in most countries. It is illegal to collect, harm or kill them.

Green Turtle Juvenile

Green Turtle Intermediate

Green Turtle Adult

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