Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Evening Creature Feature, Green Sea Turtle

One of the coolest things about the Hawaii trip was the opportunity to photograph Green Turtles. We saw them on a few occasions. The Hawaiian name for this turtle is honu.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The turtles I saw were of various colors. Hmmm, shouldn’t this Green Turtle be green?

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

It turns out that the color of the carapace has various color patterns that change over time. Hatchlings have mostly black carapaces, juveniles turn dark brown to olive while the adults are spotted brown or marbled.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Looking into this, the name comes from the greenish color of the turtles' fat, which is only found in a layer between their inner organs and their shell.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Green Sea Turtles live to as long as 80 years. It is thought that in their formative years, Green Turtles are omnivorous. In their adult years, they turn vegetarian. 

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The Green Turtle is listed as endangered except in Hawaii where it is listed as threatened.

2 comments:

ingrid said...

Steve, would this species be the most likely one you encounter while snorkeling there? It's been years now since I was in Hawaii, but I recall swimming alongside large turtles off Maui back then. At the time I didn't know what type of sea turtle they were, but when I think of the various species of sea turtle and the photos I've since seen, these must have been the ones.

Beautiful series and an inspiration for some great memories.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Hi Ingrid,

It is my understanding that encounters with Green Turtles are quite common for snorkelers. Me? I wouldn’t know first hand. I never took to the water. Besides, can you imagine the expense? Not for snorkeling equipment, for the gear! Underwater housings, underwater light sources…it makes me shutter. I’ll stay topside!

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