green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Tagus Cove, Isabela (Albemarle) Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) grazes underwater at Tagus Cove, on Isabela (Albemarle) Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South America. The "green sea turtle" name comes from its greenish fat and flesh. The hues of its shell range from olive-brown to black in Eastern Pacific green turtles. The green turtle belongs to the family Cheloniidae and is the only species in the genus Chelonia. The species lives in tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It has a flattened body covered by a large, teardrop-shaped carapace and a pair of large, paddle-like flippers. Unlike other members of its family such as the hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, Chelonia mydas is mostly herbivorous (plant eating). The adults are commonly found in shallow lagoons, feeding mostly on various species of seagrass. In 1959, Ecuador declared 97% of the land area of the Galápagos Islands to be Galápagos National Park, which UNESCO registered as a World Heritage Site in 1978. Ecuador created the Galápagos Marine Reserve in 1998, which UNESCO appended in 2001.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download