Who is it?
The green sea turtle is the largest of the hard-shelled turtles and is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical oceans of the whole world. The fat it has under its shell is what lends it its green colouration. It has a flattened body, a head with a short neck and fins adapted to swimming. Its snout is very short and its beak is not in the shape of a hook, unlike its close cousin, the hawksbill sea turtle. Its shell has colour patterns which change over time: black for the hatchlings, dark coffee or olive green for the young and completely coffee for adult turtles.
What are its habits?
Basically herbivorous, its food consists of a large quantity of seaweed (except in the case of the young, who subsist by eating small crustaceans). It spends most of its life in shallow coastal waters rich in marine grasslands. Every two or four years, the green sea turtle returns to the nesting beaches to lay between 100 and 200 eggs. Gestation lasts between 45 and 70 days. The breeding seasons vary among different populations, whereas life expectancy reaches 75 years.
Did you know...?
The meat and eggs of the green sea turtle have been used for centuries in the kitchens of China and the islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Hunting has contributed to its exploitation.