Green sea turtle

Species profile

Name: the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a large turtle in the Cheloniida family. The name comes from the greenish colour of the fat found between their inner organs and their shell. The Galapagos green turtle used to be classified as a subspecies of green sea turtle but is now recognised as a distinct species.

Appearance: they have a flattened body, a beaked head at the end of a short neck, and paddle-like arms well-adapted for swimming.

Size: adults grow to 1.5 metres long and weigh 68 to 190 kg.

Diet: juveniles eat fish eggs, molluscs, jellyfish, and small invertebrates. As they mature they become mostly herbivorous and are typically found in shallow lagoons feeding on seagrasses.

Did you know: they migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. When ready to give birth, the females crawl on shore, dig nests, and lay eggs during the night. Later, hatchlings emerge and scramble into the water. Those that reach maturity may live up to 80 years. Since they migrate long distances they have special adaptive systems in order to navigate – using wave directions, sunlight, and temperatures. They also contain an internal compass and can detect the earth’s magnetic field.

Location: green sea turtles can be found throughout tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. There are two major sub populations – one in the Atlantic and one in the eastern Pacific. Each population is genetically distinct, with its own set of nesting and feeding grounds.

Best places to see green sea turtles

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see green sea turtles are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Galapagos Islands
Ecuador
100%
very high
4.8
very good
3
reports
Isla de la Plata
Ecuador
100%
very high
4.6
very good
5
reports
Osa Peninsula
Costa Rica
100%
very high
4.5
very good
1
reports
Tortuguero
Costa Rica
0%
very low
2.0
average
1
reports