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10 Fascinating Facts About the Hawaiian Sea Turtle

The Hawaiian sea turtle is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting creatures in the sea.

Throughout the year, these unique creatures call Hawaii their home.

One of the largest hardshell turtles in the world, the Green Sea Turtle has a distinctive green hue and a yellow underside, so its easy to spot when swimming in the ocean.

Want to know more? Then read on for 10 fascinating facts about Hawaii’s most famous sea creature:


  1. They are very, very old.


Green sea turtles have been around for over 150 million years…longer than the dinosaurs!


  1. They always know where their homes are.


Sea turtles always return home – that is, to the place where they were born. Here, they lay their own eggs and start their own family.


  1. They can hold their breath for a LONG time.


It is possible for Green Sea Turtles to hold their breath underwater for up to five hours at a time. However, they often don’t practice this ability. They prefer to feed underwater for around five minutes at a time.


  1. They are enormous.


Despite the fact that Hawaiian green sea turtles are only two inches long at birth, fully-grown turtles can measure up to five feet in length and weigh up to 700 pounds.


  1. It’s a tough world for baby turtles.


The average female Hawaiian sea turtle will lay hundreds of eggs over a period of two to three years. But approximately only one hatchling in every thousand eggs will survive into adulthood.

They face difficult journeys through the dangerous ocean and rarely live after birth.


  1. They are fast.


Hawaiian sea turtles can reach speeds of up to 35 mph in the water.

Their perfectly streamlined shell and strong flippers allows them to glide gracefully through the water.


  1. They change their diet during the course of their lifetime.


When Green Sea Turtles are children, they feast on jellyfish, crabs and other sea creatures. But when they grow into adulthood they stick to a vegetarian diet of algae and sea grass.


  1. Male turtles never leave the sea…ever.


There is no need for a male sea turtle to leave the comfort of the ocean, since, unlike the female, he does not have to leave to lay eggs.

This means we know very little about the actual numbers of male sea turtles because they are harder to track when they are swimming all the time.


  1. They can cry


But don’t worry…it’s not because they are sad.

Sea turtles have glands around their eyes to empty excess salt from their eyes – this can make it look like they are crying but really they are just refreshing their eyes.


  1. They are in danger


Six out of seven species of sea turtle, including the Hawaii Green Sea Turtle, are classified as endangered.

This is largely thanks to humans – from consuming turtle meat eggs to accidentally entangling them in fishing nets.


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