Before humans, before birds, even before dinosaurs, turtles walked the earth. Scientists aren’t sure exactly when they took to the sea, but it was certainly before dinosaurs breathed their last around 65 million years ago. They’ve adapted well to life in the water, with flippers instead of legs, as well as the ability to spend 45 minutes underwater without coming up for air. Green sea turtles are endangered, although efforts have been made to protect their nesting sites and avoid accidental entrapment in fishing nets.
Green sea turtle eggs are buried in clutches of 75-200. After two months, the hatchlings make a mad dash for water, where they’ll spend the rest of their lives. Green sea turtles don’t reach adulthood for 10 years or more, but they can live up to 100 years.
Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
Characteristics: Green sea turtles get their name not from their shells, but from their subdermal body fat. Unlike many other turtles, they cannot retract into their shells.
Size and Color: Although these figures are dark green, sea turtles can also be brown, grey, or olive. The adult figure is 3 ½ inches long, about the size of a drink coaster.