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Green Sea Turtle Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lauren Scott

Lauren has a Master's degree in special education and has taught for more than 10 years.

This lesson will introduce you to the big, beautiful green sea turtle. You will learn about their diets, their habitats, and the importance of protecting them.

Green Sea Turtle Basics

Surf's up! Green sea turtles are big and bulky, but they are right at home in their watery world. These animals are large reptiles that can grow up to 4 feet in length, and weigh over 400 pounds. Despite their name, they are not always green. Green sea turtles may be a mix of brown, green, black, and yellow. They get their name because of the layer of green fat under their skin. Green sea turtles have four large flippers that allow them to swim, and that allow the females to dig their nests. Like all turtles, they have hard upper shell called a carapace, and a bottom shell called a plastron. Sea turtles can't pull their heads into their shells like other turtles.

Green sea turtles are large reptiles that live in the ocean.
green sea turtle

The Green Sea Turtle's Home

Green sea turtles live in warm oceans all over the world. They prefer shallow water where they can find plenty of food, and seek out warm sandy beaches to lay their eggs. Green sea turtles migrate, meaning they travel long distances to get to and from breeding grounds.

Green sea turtles often swim in around coral reefs.
turtle near reef

Green Sea Turtle Diet

If you like to eat your vegetables, you would make the perfect dinner guest for a green sea turtle. Adult green sea turtles eat a lot of algae and sea grasses. As adults they are herbivores, meaning that they only eat plant matter. Baby green sea turtles eat algae, but will also feast on crustaceans and worms, making them omnivores.

The Life Cycle of a Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtles nest on sandy beaches. The female crawls onto the sand, where she makes one or more nests. She digs a large hole in the sand, and lays up to 200 eggs. She covers the eggs with sand, and then swims away, only returning to the beach to lay more eggs in 3-4 years. Once the eggs hatch, the hatchlings make their way to the sea. It is a dangerous trip! Young sea turtles may be eaten by birds and land mammals. Those that reach the ocean sometimes hide out in seaweed until they are bigger.

Baby green sea turtles hatch from eggs, and walk to the ocean.
turtle hatchling

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