The Taxonomy of a Green Sea Turtle

By Haley Baker

"The green turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and the only herbivore among the different species. Green turtles are in fact named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, not their shells. In the Eastern Pacific, a group of green turtles that have darker shells are called black turtles by the local community. Green turtles are found mainly in tropical and subtropical waters. Like other sea turtles, they migrate long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched."

What is Taxonomy?

Taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms; systematics. There are seven levels of Taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Taxonomy of a Green Sea Turtle.

Kingdom: Animalia,Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives.

Phylum: Chordata, are animals possessing a notochord, a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail for at least some period of their life cycles.

Class: Reptilia,The Class Reptilia refers to the reptiles - a diverse group of animals that are "cold-blooded" and have (or had) scales.

Order: Testudines, Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonii or Testudines characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield.

Family: Cheloniidae, are a family of sea turtles  belonging to the sea turtle superfamily Chelonioidea.

Genus: Chelonia,The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is one of the largest and most widespread of all the marine turtles.

Species: mydas, Green sea turtles are Chelonians — which means they have four legs and a tough shell made of two parts which join at the sides.

Where are Green Sea Turtles found?

Green sea turtles live very long lives. It takes at least 20 - 50 years to reach sexual maturity and a healthy individual can expect to live 80-100 years or even more!  

"When born, green sea turtles are only 5 cm (2 in) long. But they grow up to 1.5 meters (5 ft) in length and can weigh over 300 kg (700 lbs), making them the largest of the hardshell sea turtles."

"They lay 100-200 eggs at a time and leave them alone for 2 months before they hatch."

Sea turtles are one of the Earth's most ancient creatures. The seven species that can be found today have been around for 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs.

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