Green Sea Turtle: One of the 6 species you can find in Mexico.
Size: It is the second largest after the leatherback. Adults they can reach 3 to 4 feet in carapace length (83 – 114 cm). The largest green turtle ever found was 5 feet (152 cm) in length and 871 pounds (395 kg).
Weight: Adults weigh between 240 and 420 pounds (110 – 190 kg).
Diet: When less than 8 to 10 inches in length eat worms, young crustaceans, aquatic insects, gasses and algae. Once adult, they become herbivore, they mostly eat sea grass and algae, and it is the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous as an adult.
Habitat: Mainly stay near the coastline and around islands and live in bays and protected shores, especially in areas with seagrass beds. They are rarely observed in the open ocean.
Nesting: Green turtles nest at intervals of about every 2 years, they nest between 3 to 5 times per season and lay an average of 115 eggs in each nest. Important nesting beaches in Mexico can be found on X’Cacel and Sian Ka’an coasts in the Yucatan Peninsula and on Colola Beach on the Pacific coast.
Threats: They are listed as Endangered in the US and around the world by the IUCN Red List. Population declines are mainly due to harvest for eggs and meat for human consumption. Fibropapilloma is a disease that affect these turtles and that believed to be connected to pollution. Other threats include ingestion of marine debris, boat strikes, coastal development, feeding habitat degradation, and incidental capture fishing gear.
FACTS AND TIDBITS:
-These turtles are believed to improve the health of seagrass beds and associated microhabitats. They graze the beds, taking off the tops of leaf blades, while avoiding the roots.
-Greens in the Eastern Pacific are called Pacific Black turtles because their skin pigmentation is darker than other green turtles. Some researchers believe they are separate species.
-Their name comes from the color of their fat, not their shell, as commonly believed.