Green turtle

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas
Photograph by Dr Col Limpus.

Chelonia mydas


A large turtle (shell to 120 cm) with a bullet-shaped head and four large scales down either side of the shell.  Shell mottled with reddish-brown and black, juveniles with a distinctive sun-ray pattern.


Found in coastal, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.


Lives in inshore seagrass beds and on rocky and coral reefs.


Feeds on seagrass, algae, mangrove seeds and jellyfish.


Lays around 115 eggs per clutch - nesting occurs between November and March.  The main Queensland rookeries are on the islands of the southern and northern Great Barrier Reef. Raine Island, some 160 km east of northern Cape York, is the largest Green Turtle rookery in the world.

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