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Hanauma Bay Green Sea Turtles

Hanauma Bay Green Sea Turtle
The green sea turtle, also known as the honu in Hawaiian, is a species of marine turtle that inhabits tropical and subtropical oceans around the world.

Physical Characteristics

The green sea turtles are easily identifiable by their oval-shaped, streamlined bodies and their dark green or brown shells (carapace). They can grow up to 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) in length and can weigh up to 300-400 pounds (136-180 kg). Their flippers are shaped like paddles and can help them swim through the water with ease. Their diet consists mainly of sea grasses and algae, which gives them their green color.

Behavior and Life Cycle

Green sea turtles are known for their long migrations between their feeding and nesting grounds. The females will typically come ashore at night to lay their eggs on sandy beaches. They can lay up to 100-200 eggs in one nesting season and will lay eggs every 2-3 years. The eggs will hatch after about 2 months, and the hatchlings will make their way to the ocean. Once they reach adulthood, green sea turtles will migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles between their feeding and nesting grounds.

Conservation Status

The green sea turtles are currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to a range of threats, including habitat loss, pollution, hunting, and accidental capture in fishing nets. Many organizations and governments have implemented conservation measures to protect green sea turtles, including the establishment of protected nesting beaches and the reduction of fishing bycatch. In some areas, such as Hawaii, green sea turtles have made a successful recovery, but in other areas, populations remain critically endangered.

Although it doesn’t look very green, the turtle got its name because of the greasy colored tissue beneath its shell. It has such a color because its food includes only sea grasses and seaweed.

But the green sea turtles are not that green at all. Their shell is gray and black and their body color varies from yellow and brown to black. Their belly is creamy white or yellow. However, if you look at the one closely you will notice that the it looks slightly green. This is because of the algae, which for some inexplicable reason have decided that they can cover part of the turtle’s shell.

You can see a green sea turtle while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay or Turtle Canyon, You can actually see them almost everywhere in Hawaii.