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Green Sea Turtle
Chelonia mydas

Green sea turtles are unique—they are one of the largest species of turtle and the only turtle that is strictly herbivorous as an adult (although juvenile green sea turtles will also eat crabs, sponges and jellyfish). Green sea turtles eat sea grasses and algae, which results in the green-colored fat and cartilage that inspired their name. Like all sea turtles, green turtles have a protective shell but can’t pull their head and flippers inside like land turtles can.

Green sea turtles nest on the same beach where they hatched. Since they don’t reach sexual maturity until at least 20 years old, this is even more impressive. So, how do they find their way home more than 20 years later? Green sea turtles actually use the Earth’s magnetic forces to navigate their way home. At night, they crawl onto the beach and lay somewhere between 85-200 eggs under the sand. After two months, the juvenile sea turtles will emerge to dodge predators like birds and crabs in a mad dash to the ocean.

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