Saturday, September 3, 2011

Life of Green Sea Turtle

Life of Sea | Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) | Green sea turtle or Green turtle is an endangered species in the world. This species has been hunted for centuries for meat and made into soup. This activity by humans for a long time have reduced their populations. Additionally, the Green sea turtles become commodity on the black market trade. As information, Green sea turtles get its name not from its color, but from the green fat which is under the top shell. They live in tropical and subtropical waters. They can be found along the Atlantic coast of the island and the continent, the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. Their populations are also known in the warm ocean waters in the Mediterranean.

Green sea turtles have thick and heavy shell. The shells resembles the scaly plates. Sometimes with dark lines radiating in every shield. For young turtles, the upper shell is dark to gray  where the plastron is dusky white.  The shell of adults are light to dark olive brown and the plastron below is yellowish.  Green sea turtles are found in groups while searching  food in shallow water. It should be remembered that young green sea turtles are carnivorous animals. They eat jellyfish and other invertebrates. But, when they are adults, they become vegetarians. They eat seaweed and algae.

Sea turtles spends most of their life under the sea. Adult females just appear to the sand (beach) to lay their eggs. Female Green sea turtles lay eggs around 60-150 eggs. From the total of all eggs, without hunting by humans, naturally only about 11 eggs hatched. Then, they can swim back to sea to grow. Some researchers reports that the percentage of hatching eggs naturally only about 50% at the start of hatching and returning to sea for a swim (not in added in the presence of some other predators). Their natural predators on land such as crabs, birds and mice. At sea, the main predator of these animals like any other big fish. This condition will be worse by human who take the green turtle eggs for food.  

Green sea turtles breathe with lungs. Same with humans, they need oxygen from the air to breathe. At sea, they usually appear to the surface to get oxygen. Interestingly, their lungs have the ability to store air in a long time. As a result, the green turtle can be under water for a long time. Green sea turtles are also famous as an explorer. They were able to swim long distances. Female Green sea turtles have been known to travel more than 2600 miles on their migration between food and nesting beaches. Green sea turtles are one of the oldest living creatures on earth. They already exist in the earth since the time of the dinosaurs. Their size is believed to have reached half the size of dinosaurs at that time. After the process of evolution, their size becomes smaller, as you see now.

The total of Green sea turtles population are more than the other species of sea turtles, such as the Leatherback sea turtle. Leatherback sea turtle have been greatly reduced in number. This is one kind of sea turtle that is almost disappeared in the sea. Only a few places that still occasionally be a place to lay their eggs. Leatherback turtles are protected and included in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). However, green turtles are endangered due to population continues to decline each year. Besides the hunting, turtles are also frequently caught in fishing nets marine waters. 

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