Green sea turtles, as you may have learned in our post about the animals of Finding Nemo, are so totally awesome! They are the largest hard-shelled sea turtle, weighing in at around 300-400 pounds. That’s almost as heavy as a male reindeer, but you won’t see any sea turtles pulling Santa’s sleigh! They spend most of their lives under water, where they can relax for up to five hours before coming up for a breath of fresh air. They also have been seen sunbathing on land. When they aren’t swimming or soaking up the sun, green sea turtles can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches of over 80 countries, but the highest number of them nest in Costa Rica and Australia. For the most part, they like to eat seaweed and seagrass. This could be what makes them so green; however, their shells are usually olive or brown colored.
The life of a green sea turtle is a difficult one. Once they hatch, they must climb out of their nest, which was buried about two months earlier. After hatching, they much make it to the ocean, avoiding birds and crabs. The first few years of life are spent in open water, feeding on plankton. As adults, sea turtles are often caught in both active fishing nets and ghost nets. They are often hit by boat propellers or made sick by pollution. They are even hunted for their beautiful shells. Needless to say, sea turtles face many threats, mostly from humans. Green sea turtles unfortunately ended up on the endangered list. You can help! Reducing pollution by refusing one time use plastics like straws and plastic bags or by choosing to eat organically grown foods can make a big difference. Even if you live nowhere near the ocean. More ideas for helping to protect the ocean and the green sea turtles that live in it can be found here.
In the meantime, let’s test your knowledge of green sea turtles with this free printable worksheet. Once you’re done, remember to share a photo with us on social media @daisyandotto.