Species encyclopedia

Green Sea Turtle

Chelonia mydas


More of a carnivore in its younger years, it becomes a herbivore in its adulthood.

At that point, it begins to graze underwater meadows. The adults travel very long distances between the sea grass fields where they feed and their nesting site.

The green turtle is the only sea turtle that doesn’t only visit beaches to nest, but also comes to warm itself in the sun.

Of all the species of sea turtle, the green turtle is the most heavily exploited. Some coastal populations consume its eggs, and adult animals are captured for their scales, their meat and their skin.

Endangered like all the other sea turtles, it is protected at the international level.


Adults that have reached their sexual maturity mate close to the beaches.

A single mating is enough to fertilize all the eggs that will be laid during the season (up to six clutches). The females go to the beaches at night to dig their nests.

They tend to choose calm locations, unlit and fringed with vegetation. Every nest contains about 100 eggs contained in a supple membrane, each the size of a golf ball. The females fill their nests back up with sand before returning to the sea until their next ovulation two weeks later. The eggs’ incubation period varies between 45 and 70 days, depending on the temperature.

Discover the missions of the Center for Studies and Care for Sea Turtles

This turtle owes its name to the green colour of its fat, which is linked to its diet of plants.

Marine Turtles


Species encyclopedia

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