The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) gets its name not from the color of its shell but actually from the color of the fat under the shell. This sea turtle is found all over the world in tropical and subtropical waters and nests in more than 80 different countries, with main nesting beaches in Florida, Australia and Costa Rica. They are also the second largest sea turtle behind the great leatherback, ranging in weight from 240-420 pounds and measuring as large as 4 feet.
- IUCN Red List documents the Green Sea Turtle as endangered worldwide
- They are the only sea turtle to bask on beaches and do so in only three known areas; Hawaii, Galapagos Islands and Australia
- While Green Sea Turtles migrate up to 1,400 miles for breeding and nesting, they are rarely found in the open ocean otherwise and tend to stay near coastlines and sea grass beds for the majority of their lives
- This species is the only herbivore of all the sea turtles and their sharply pointed beaks make it easy to feed on sea grass and algae growing on rocks
- Females nest anywhere from every 2-4 years and have been known to nest up to seven times per season with clutch sizes ranging from 75-150 eggs per nest
Green turtles that inhibit the eastern Pacific Ocean are sometimes called Pacific black turtles, as their skin is often darker than the typical green sea turtle. Some scientists and researchers are advocating for the Pacific black to listed as its own separate species due to its smaller body size, differing color and different shell shape. The largest threat to this species is poaching and, due to their habitat close to shore, boat strikes and marine debris.