Features: The Green Sea Turtle sheds excess salt water through glands near the eyes. An adult is usually olive green or dark brown, spotted yellow or marbled. Its flesh is green. The shell is thick, bony, and heavy. It is thinner than a land going turtle or tortoise. Its flippers are to help it go through water at high speeds. They can grow to be 5 feet long and 500 pounds! They live 40-50 years.
Breeding: Adults reach sexually maturity in 10 to 15 years. The breeding season is October to February. Gestation period for these turtles is 7-10 weeks. They will lay several batches of about 100 eggs in several weeks. Nesting patches, called rookeries, on Ascension Island will be overwhelmed with turtles during breeding season. The entire island will be covered with turtles. Only 1 or 2 out of 100 hatchling will survive the first year. At 82 degrees F all hatchlings are male at 90 degrees F all hatchlings are female.
Diet: The adult Green Sea turtles only eat plants. Their favorite is sea grass. The will eat mangrove leaves that hang down over the water. Younger turtles of this breed will also eat fish, jelly fish, crustaceans, and algae. They are born as poor swimmers, so for the first several months they float along the top and eat shrimp that are in sargassum weed. They have very powerful jaws.
Habitat: This turtle enjoys warm, shallow water, where there is a lot of sea grass. It lives most every where that there is sea water. But it is not found that close to the poles where the water is colder.
General: Today its numbers are a fraction of what they once were. Hunting has nearly wiped out these turtles. The adults can also hold their breath for 5 hours underwater.