Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) UnderwaterSign In or Register to add photos
The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle's species is Chelonia mydas. In Hawaii, however, this green sea turtle is known by its Hawaiian name Honu. It is believed the green sea turtle reaches sexual maturity around 25 years and can live up to 80 years of age. Sea turtles start off as hatchlings weighing about one ounce and having a carapace length of 2 inches. Sexually mature turtles will have carapaces at least 2 1/2 feet long and weigh 200 -350 pounds. Adults grow to a carapace length of 3 1/2 feet and weigh an average of 400 pounds. Juvenile green sea turtles are omnivorous, feeding on plankton and fish eggs floating near the ocean surface. Adult Green sea turtles are primarily vegetarians feeding on near shore algae, or limu pastures. They don't travel far from their home feeding range, except when nesting. The carapace is a mottled dark brown on top and creamy white below. This countershading conceals the turtle from predators; making it difficult to distinguish its dark upper carapace from the sea floor or its white plastron from the lighter sky. historically man has been the greatest predator of the sea turtle, killing it for its meat, shell, and eggs while driving it almost to extinction. Beach erosion washes some of the nests into the ocean, and turtle?s occasionally dig up each other?s nests while laying their own eggs. Hatchling turtles also have to escape ghost crabs and reef fish as they try to make their way out to sea. As adults the only predators turtles have besides man are sharks. Sea turtles can become entangled in debris such as discarded netting. Dead sea turtles that have washed ashore have been found with plastics in their digestive system, possibly leading to their death. In certain areas, up to 50 % of the turtles in the main Hawaiian Islands have a type of tumor called a fibropapilloma. Tumors as large as a grapefruit can grow all over the turtle. Problems occur when they cover the eyes of the turtle, making it hard to see, or grow in the mouth or throat, inhibiting feeding. Listed as a threatened species and protected in Hawaii under state law, the federal Endangered Species Act, and listed under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), making it illegal to import or export turtle products. It is illegal to kill, capture, or harass sea turtles.