Snorkelers and scuba divers in Hawaii are often rewarded with the sight of gorgeous green turtles swimming lazily in the ocean floors or pecking on algae. Whether it is a snorkeling tour at Molokini or Lanai, the odds of catching a glimpse of them is good. But many of us don’t have much knowledge about these amazing marine creatures. Let’s explore 14interesting yet unknown facts about them.
- Hawaiian green sea turtles grow to around 3-4 feet, but weigh up to 300-350 lbs or more. The heaviest size is recorded at 700 lbs!
- Green sea turtles in Hawaii reach their favorite breeding location after traveling long distances. The females hatch their eggs at night on the beach. For laying eggs, they need plenty of space. But unfortunately, new hatchlings struggle to reach their reproductive age.
- Females make nest on the same beach where they are born. This phenomenon is called “natal homing”.
- The amazing creatures are said to reach sexual maturity when they are between 20 to 50 years of age. However, scientists are still researching on it.
- Ocean and land both are habitats of the amazing creatures. Though they hatch eggs, bask in sun, and nest on the beach, they spend a vast majority of their lives in ocean.
- They recline on selected sun-kissed beaches for preserving energy levels and boosting body temperature.
Females protect their eggs from predators such as sea gulls and crabs by digging a pit in the sand with their flippers and filling them with a clutch of 200 to 300 eggs. They subsequently cover the pit and return to the ocean.
- If you’re wondering what do Hawaiian green sea turtles eat, the answer is that they eat both plants and animals. Juvenile species are omnivores and feed on both animals and plants including small insects, worms, lobsters, crabs, jellyfishes, sponges, seagrasses and others. But you’ll be surprised to know that the adult creatures are herbivores and dine only on plants, algae, and seagrasses.
- Although the shells of the animals are not green, they are called green sea turtles owing to the color of their subcutaneous body fat. The color of their shells ranges from brown, olive, grey, and black.
- The Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle is Honu. People in Hawaii consider them as an epitome of fortune and longevity.
- Large tiger sharks are the worst enemies of green turtles in Hawaii.
- Green turtles live to be 80-100 years old if they overcome all the hurdles and life-threatening dangers.
- You can get the opportunity of snorkeling with Hawaiian green sea turtles but there are some rules that you will have to conform to. These are as follows:
- You have to keep your arms by your side and maintain a distance of 15 feet from the turtles and watch them silently. Touching them is strictly prohibited. Harassing them is illegal in Hawaii and would cost you $10,000 as monetary fine for violating the rules.
- You are not supposed to use flash photography or bright lights for clicking their photographs.
- The shells of the green turtles in Hawaii are used for making ornaments and decorative items in many parts of the world.
- Unfortunately, the population of Hawaiian green sea turtles has dwindled and they are on the verge of extinction. The main factors behind their disappearance are habitat destruction, poaching, hunting, egg harvesting, accidental seizure by fisheries, coastal development and ocean pollution. However, respecting and spreading awareness can save their untimely annihilation.
The Hawaiian green turtle is no doubt one of the most interesting marine creatures. Hopefully, the blog has helped you know more about it. Share with us your ideas on any other interesting information about the Hawaiian green turtles if you have any!