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Green Sea Turtle – One of Several Jekyll Island Sea Turtles

Green Sea Turtle - One of the Jekyll Island Sea Turtles
Green Sea Turtle

But I’m brown not green! What’s up with that? In fact, in the Pacific region, people call them Black Sea Turtles. But it turns out that Green Sea turtles eat green algae and sea grass.  This diet turns their fat and muscles green, giving them their more common name. Notice that each of the varieties of sea turtles has a different diet, allowing them to more easily co-exist in the same habitat.  The Loggerhead Sea Turtle, for example, has a hard beak that it uses to crush crabs, clams, and other crustaceans.  With a smaller head, the Green Sea Turtle could not easily eat crustaceans. But its serrated jaw is the perfect tool for its vegetarian meals.

Its smaller head belies its size, too. It is the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles, normally weighing in between 300 and 350 pounds And its shell can be over 3 feet long. The largest known Green was five feet long, and it weighed 871 pounds. Of all the sea turtles, the soft-shelled Leatherback is the largest.

Habitat

Green Sea Turtles stay along the coast and in bays and rarely venture into the open ocean. They are threatened both in the United States and internationally, as they often get caught in shrimping boat nets.  Since they are close to humans, they are in danger of boats hitting them.

Nesting

They nest in intervals around every 2 years, with 3-5 clutches per season.  With around 115 eggs per nest, you would think their numbers would be growing.  But few baby turtles make it to adult sizes.

Green sea turtles have only nested on Jekyll on rare occasions. They prefer their waters to be a little warmer. So they are more common on Florida’s east coast. In 2015, however, there was one nest found on Jekyll. You can see the turtles recovering from injuries at the Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Center.

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