Fun Green Sea Turtle Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Green Sea Turtle Facts For Kids

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As the name suggests, a green sea turtle, scientific name chelonia mydas, is green in color and is found in very few regions because of their extinction. They are also known as a Pacific green turtle or a black sea turtle. They are a species of large sea turtle that belongs to the family of cheloniidae. It is the only species that is a part of the genus of chelonia. Their common name refers to the usually green fat that is found under its carapace.

The adult green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) inhabits shallow lagoons and feeds mostly on different species of seagrasses. Like other sea turtles, they migrate far away distances between feeding grounds and nesting beaches. Female green sea turtles crawl at beaches, dig their nests and lay their eggs in the night. As the species fall under the category of endangered species, it is protected from exploitation in most countries. There are different laws and regulations to protect the nesting areas of green sea turtles. In some countries, green sea turtles and their eggs are hunted for food. The green sea turtles are in danger due to the different human activities that take place and also the pollution that is indirectly harmful to the green sea turtles. After reading interesting green sea turtle information, you may also want to look at bog turtle facts and frilled lizard facts.

Fun Green Sea Turtle Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Worms, small crustaceans, aquatic insects, seagrass and algae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

110 - 115 eggs

How much do they weigh?

350-360 lb

How long are they?

70.8-86.6 in

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark brown, green, yellow, olive and black

Skin Type

Dorsal shell

What were their main threats?

Bycatch In Commercial And Recreational Fishing Gear

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Warm Tropical And Subtropical Ocean Waters


Indian Ocean And Eastern Pacific Ocean









Green Sea Turtle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green sea turtle?

The green sea turtle is a type of turtle species. Green sea turtles have been named a separate species according to their color. Green sea turtles are one of the largest sea turtles and the only species that are herbivores among the other species. The reason why they are called a green sea turtle is due to its greenish color of their cartilage and fats and not their shells. Green turtles are recognizable because of their top shell.

What class of animal does a green sea turtle belong to?

The green sea turtle species belong to a class of reptiles and are marine turtles. The species are becoming endangered as they are threatened by the over-harvesting of their eggs, hunting of adults, and many other reasons responsible for their extinction. The feature that distinguishes them from other species of turtle is they have a single pair of prefrontal scales rather than two pairs.

How many green sea turtles are there in the world?

The estimated number of green sea turtles that there are in the world is between 85,000-90,000 nesting females. The number is declining as there are many reasons which are responsible for the decline in their number. Migratory movements of these green turtles is limited between the foraging areas and nesting beaches.

Where does a green sea turtle live?

Green sea turtles live in warm tropical and subtropical ocean waters. Green turtle populations are found in temperate regions of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean, and in the Mediterranean Sea.

What is a green sea turtle's habitat?

The green sea turtle habitat is warm tropical and subtropical ocean waters, and they also migrate to long distances between feeding grounds and nesting beaches from the place where they hatched. Green turtles are found on Hawaiian Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and shallow waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean along the United States.

Who do green sea turtles live with?

Green sea turtles are known to be solitary creatures as they remain submerged for most of their time in the sea. Female green turtle species come together for their courtship and mating with the males. They do come together in massive groups at the nesting grounds.

How long does a green sea turtle live?

Green sea turtles live a long life and their green sea turtle lifespan can go up to 70 years or more. Female green sea turtles reach maturity at the age of 25-35 years. The green sea turtle life cycle in captivity is much longer as compared to that in the wild. The oldest sea turtle to have lived a long life is said to be 400 years old in captivity in the Guangzhou Aquarium in China.

How do they reproduce?

The green sea turtle reproduction starts with male and female green turtles mating in shallow waters. The male green sea turtle reaches his tail underneath the posterior end of the female’s shell to inseminate the cloaca. After green turtle species separate, they unite again to mate with the other sea turtles. The female green sea turtle will mate with the other males and store the sperm for several months till the time she is able to fertilize all of her eggs and then start nesting. She lays about 110 eggs per turtles nest and will nest again every two weeks over several months before she leaves the nesting. After about two months of incubating in the warm sand, the eggs hatch, and the hatchlings make their way to the water once they reach their maturity. It is interesting to know that sea turtle nesting happens on beaches and they are known as a nesting beach. In most cases, the adult green turtles migrate long distances to reach these green sea turtle nesting sites. The largest nesting populations are said to be in Australia and Costa Rica.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of green sea turtles is endangered as the green sea turtle population is declining day by day. Several reasons contribute to the green sea turtle endangered status, starting from hunting for their eggs for food to the pollution that is taking place. In some countries, turtles and their eggs are still hunted for food. Many turtles die because many animals of green turtle species are being accidentally caught in fishing nets. Plus, real estate development is also one of the reasons why green sea turtles are endangered. Green sea turtle predators like tiger sharks and killer whales are also responsible for their reducing numbers. Green sea turtle hatchling are preyed upon by dogs, sea birds, racoons, fishes and other predators.

Green Sea Turtle Fun Facts

What do green sea turtles look like?

Green sea turtles are green in color. The green turtle is named so as they have a layer of green fat under their shell. The carapace is full of bones with no ridges and has large scutes that are present with only four lateral scutes. Their body is nearly oval in shape and is more flattened as compared to Pacific green turtles. Their head is proportionally small and is non-retractable that extends from a heart-shaped carapace.

A green sea turtle shell is made of hard keratin called scutes.

How cute are they?

Green sea turtles are cute in their appearance. Green turtle are not aggressive unless they are in danger. Sometimes, you might get a painful bite if you get close to them and start annoying them. Otherwise, they are cute and lovable.

How do they communicate?

Green sea turtles communicate with each other by using sound, a type that is something new to us. Even though it is known that they do not have vocal cords, they try to communicate through the use of different sounds.

How big is a green sea turtle?

Green sea turtles are usually in the range of 33-46 in and are the largest species in the cheloniidae family. Green sea turtles are bigger and larger than other sea turtles in the world. Male green sea turtles are slightly larger than female green sea turtles and have a longer tail.

How fast can a green sea turtle swim?

The green sea turtles are usually not extremely fast swimmers. They cruise at around 0.9-5.8 mph, but they increase their speed of swimming when they are frightened. It is found that they can swim up to 22 mph.

How much does a green sea turtle weigh?

The green sea turtles weigh around 350-360 lb. Their weight is dependent on the food that they eat and the nutrition that they get.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for a male or female turtle as they are just referred to as turtles. They are simply known as male green sea turtles and female green sea turtles.

What would you call a baby green sea turtle?

A baby green sea turtle is known as a juvenile green sea turtle. When born, a green sea turtle baby is around only 2-3 in long.

What do they eat?

Green sea turtle diet comprises worms, small crustaceans, aquatic insects, seagrass, and algae. Once they become adults, they move from open ocean to foraging grounds full of sea grasses, seagrass beds, and more. The fully grown adult green sea turtles are herbivores, and they like to hang around coral reefs to scrape off the seagrass and the algae.

Are they friendly?

Green sea turtles are solitary creatures who come together only for the purpose of mating with each other. No, green sea turtles are not friendly in nature towards humans. People may want to be affectionate towards them when they poke their heads out of their shells, but they do not have the same friendly feelings about humans.

Would they make a good pet?

No, green sea turtles are not kept as pets as it is illegal as they are endangered. Turtles do make a good pet as they like to remain in one place and are lazy most of the time. However, green sea turtles have a different temperament to that of normal turtles.

Did you know...

The green sea turtle is a species of turtles that is known to be one of the largest species of hard-shelled turtles. They have a distinguishing feature that covers most of their body except their head and four flippers. The green sea turtles can be easily located and found along the coastline of more than 80 countries around the world.  

Green sea turtle adaptations like paddlelike flippers for swimming and non-retractile limbs and neck help it thrive in the water. The green sea turtle mouth has a beak with finely serrated edges which help it shred the food into small pieces.

What is the main difference between the green sea turtle and the leatherback turtle?

One of the main differences between the green sea turtle and leatherback turtle is their shells. The leatherback’s shell is made up of bones, cartilage, and a layer of leathery skin, whereas the green sea turtle’s shell is just made up of bone and cartilage. Another striking difference between them is that the green sea turtle is the largest species of hard-shelled turtles, whereas the leatherback turtle is the second largest species of sea turtle. The green sea turtle can stay in water for about 5 hours, whereas the leatherback turtle can dive more than one thousand feet deep.

How important is a green sea turtle's birthplace?

The green sea turtle’s birthplace is important as the females return back to the beach where they were born to nest, and they travel to long distances as it does not matter how far it is.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including lava lizard, or Camain lizard.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Green sea turtle coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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