Green turtle


Scientific name

Chelonia mydas




The green turtle typically grows to be a little larger than 1 meter (3-4 feet) in shell length, and adults can weigh more than 110 kg (250-400 lbs).


The lifespan of green turtles is unknown, but they likely live for at least 70 years. Maturity is reached at 25 to 35 years of age.

Did you know?

Green turtles are the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles.

About Green turtles

Like many species of sea turtles, green turtles enter the open ocean after hatching, where they live for several years. Larger juveniles return to nearshore, coastal waters, where they spend several years foraging until they reach maturity. Though adult green turtles undergo extensive reproductive migrations, during non-breeding years they can be found in the same feeding habitats with the juveniles.


During their oceanic phase, green turtles are omnivorous, but upon returning to shallow habitats they become herbivorous, consuming mostly seagrass and algae.


Green turtles have nesting grounds in more than 80 countries around the world and likely migrate through at least 140 countries. They are found mostly in tropical seas and are highly migratory.

Fun facts

  • Green turtles return to the same beaches where they hatched, making reproductive migrations every 2 to 5 years. Green turtles are named for the color of their fat, rather than their shells.

Green turtle photo gallery

More species to explore

Bull shark

The bull shark is the most well-known of the shark species that can move easily between salt and freshwater habitats. Their freshwater tolerance puts the

Read More
Underwater view of great hammerhead shark and baitfish, Bahamas

Great hammerhead shark

The hammerhead sharks in the family Sphyrnidae are among the most uniquely adapted sharks, easily identifiable by their large, flattened hammer-shaped heads. The bizarre head

Read More

Tiger shark

Tiger sharks are among the most feared species of sharks in the world, with a reputation for being aggressive and somewhat unpredictable. In actuality, tiger

Read More