| Ecological Descriptors
Distinguished from other sea turtles by the single pair of prefrontal scales (scales in front of its eyes), (cf 2 pairs in others). Head is small with a blunt serrated beak(cf Hawkesbill Turtle). Carapace is bony without ridges and has large, non-overlapping, scutes (scales) with 4 lateral scutes(cf Loggerhead) Body is nearly oval. All flippers have 1 visible claw. The carapace colour varies from pale to very dark green and plain to very brilliant yellow, brown and green tones with radiating stripes. The plastron is white, dirty white or yellowish.
Adults are 3 to 4 feet in carapace length (83 - 114 cm) and weigh between 240 and 420 pounds (110 - 190 kg).
Green turtles get their name from their greenish cartilage and fat, not their shells.
Mainly stay near the coastline and around islands and live in bays and protected shores, especially in areas with seagrass beds.
Their diet changes during its life. When less than 8 to 10 inches in length eat worms, young crustaceans, aquatic insects, grasses and algae. Once green turtles reach 8 to 10 inches in length, they mostly eat sea grass and algae, the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous as an adult. Their jaws are finely serrated which aids them in tearing vegetation.
In Antigua their nesting season usually runs from May to December. However, evidence has been seen of activity during the Winter months.
Green turtles nest at intervals of about every 2 years, with wide year-to-year fluctuations in numbers of nesting females. Nests between 3 to 5 times per season. Lays an average of 115 eggs in each nest, with the eggs incubating for about 60 days
(C) John Soward