Every species of sea turtle is endangered or threatened. The green turtle is the largest of marine turtles, often weighing in excess of 100 kg. Its name refers to the color of its fat. The shell of adult turtles ranges in color from reddish brown to gray olive. Hatchlings are black and white. Adult green turtles mostly feed on algae and seagrasses . Because their diet is low in vitamin D, green turtles are unique among sea turtles in coming ashore to synthesize vitamin D by basking in the sun.
Although found in coastal waters throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world, the green turtle’s numbers have decreased. People hunt green turtles for their shells, meat, skin, and eggs. Green turtles also nest on beaches where development has become more intense in recent decades. Hatchlings immediately rush into the sea. Lights may confuse them and they may run away from instead of into the sea. In Florida, a network of permit holders help to protect sea turtles by monitoring sea turtle nests.
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