Green Sea Turtle Koh Tao
Learn about the Green Sea Turtle Koh Tao
A Green Sea Turtle is the most iconic marine life species associated with Koh Tao and over the years it has become the pin-up model when associated with the island.
Where to find the Green Sea Turtle on Koh Tao
How to identify the Green Sea Turtle
A Green Sea Turtle can be identified by a smooth and more rounded beak, which can often be more hook-shaped on other sea turtles and Green Sea Turtles have two front limbs with one claw on each flipper.
Their outer shell, also known as a Carapaces, is a more tear drop shape and is wider and smoother when compared to other turtles and it is usually a brown-olive colour with the outer edges of the shell more rounded.
Green Sea Turtle Identification
An easily distinguished characteristic of the Green Sea Turtle is the colour of their flesh and under belly.
Due to their highly herbivorous diet, researchers believe this is what causes the green hue on their skin and is it where the name Green Sea Turtle comes from.
Green Sea Turtle Characteristics & Behaviour
During early life a Green Sea Turtle will spend its time swimming around the ocean eating invertebrates like jellyfish, sponges and crabs.
As they mature, they tend to find shallow refuge around coastlines, bays and lagoons and stick to mostly sea grasses and algae.
Averaging a life span of eighty (80) or more years they can grow up to five (5) feet in length.
Green Sea Turtle covers long distances
All of this eating over the years allows them to weigh up to seven hundred (700) pounds and they are the largest hard-shell turtle in the world.
It is thought that the Green Sea Turtle often covers very long distances so they can reach the correct beach to lay their eggs.
Their hydrodynamic shell and paddle-like flippers help them to cover these distances and in full flow, they can possibly reach speeds of up to 35mph (56 km/h).
Interesting facts about the Green Sea Turtle
It is believed that while most sea turtles use shallow water to swim in and breach the surface, some Green Turtles will actually move onto land to bask in the sun.
Occasionally seen sunbathing, it is one of the very few marine turtles known to move onto dry land other than for nesting reasons.
A Green Sea Turtle can hold its breath for hours and as they are cold blooded, the duration of this breath hold can be determined by the temperature of the water.
Green Sea Turtle on Land
Unfortunately, Green Sea Turtles numbers have suffered due to hunting, over harvesting of their eggs, loss of nesting beaches and pollution.
Fishing has also posed dangers as thousands of these peaceful reptiles are caught in fishing nets or hit by boat propellers and are unable to survive.
Just like the seven (7) other species of turtle, they are classified as endangered and we need to do all we can to protect them.