Threatened Species Day fact sheet
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
About the fact sheet
The green turtle gets its name not from the colour of its shell but from the green fat deposits around its internal organs. The carapace or shell can be yellowishor olive-green but it can also be brown to brownish-black. The scutes (the plates on the shell) are also usually beautifully variegated with streaks of brown, reddishbrown or black. Green turtles can grow up to 1.5 metres long and reach 200 kilograms, although individuals from different populations vary widely in size.
The hatchlings are a shiny black with white edges to their flippers, and white underparts. A newly hatched green turtle is usually less than 5 centimetres long and weighs less than 25 grams. That means it could increase its weight 8000 times at adulthood!