Posted by Bailey Kaufman | 03.14.2024 | Turtle Talk

How Did Green Sea Turtles Get Their Name?

Green sea turtles get their name not from the color of their shells, but from their fat that has a greenish tint to it. This comes from their predominantly herbivorous diet, which consists mainly of seagrasses and algae. These marine reptiles consume copious amounts of these underwater plants, which contain chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for their green coloration. While other sea turtle species have more varied diets, green sea turtles have specialized jaws adapted for tearing seagrass and algae. This diet not only influences their color but also provides them with essential nutrients for growth and development. The process of digesting these plant materials also contributes to their greenish hue. Additionally, the symbiotic algae that live on their shells can further enhance the green tint. So, while they may not be green on the outside, their dietary habits give them a greenish appearance internally, earning them the name “green sea turtle.”