Green sea turtle feeding on sea weed in a meadow

Green sea turtle

Green sea turtles, so named for the colour of their skin, spend almost all of their lives under water. They are one of the most widespread turtle species found throughout the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world, and their ecology changes drastically according to the stages of their lives.

The newly emerged hatchlings crawl down to the sea from their beach hatcheries and live in the open sea feeding on small fish, crustaceans and jellyfish. Unusually, the adults are herbivorous, spending their lives grazing among the seagrass beds in shallower waters. Adult green turtles don’t have teeth but instead sport a finely serrated unhooked beak with which they can scrape algae off hard surfaces.

Scientific name: Chelonia mydas

Rank: Species

Common names:

Green turtle

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The Green sea turtle can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Australia, Great Barrier Reef, Indian subcontinent, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Green sea turtle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2004

Classified by: IUCN 3.1