Green turtles are named after the greenish colour of their cartilage and the fat deposits around their internal organs, but are black-brown or greenish yellow in colour. The carapace is oval when viewed from above, and the head is relatively small and blunt.
From 80 to 150cm in length and up to 130kg in weight.
Dark black-brown or greenish yellow.
Current Population and Distribution
There are important green turtle nesting and feeding grounds around the whole coast of Africa, India and South East Asia, along the entire tropical coastline of Australia and the South Pacific Islands. They are also found in the Mediterranean and occasionally as far north as the coastal waters of Great Britain.
In the West Atlantic the range extends from Cape Cod through Central America as far south as southern Brazil. Populations in the Eastern Pacific stretch from northern USA to the southernmost record in northern Chile. Nesting occurs widely throughout the range, even on the central Pacific islands, where few other species of nesting turtles now occur.
Current estimates suggest the age of sexual maturity is 33 years. Females migrate huge distances between feeding grounds and nesting areas, but tend to follow coastlines rather than cross open water.
An individual female nests approximately every 3 years, and lays 1-6 clutches of between 70 and 110 eggs. The incubation period lasts 50 to 70 days.
Adult green turtles are the only truly herbivorous marine turtles. They feed mainly on seagrasses or algae, mostly in the tropics and subtropics.