Sunday, September 23, 2007

Honu (Green Sea Turtle)

Green sea turtles, called Honu in Hawaii, are an endangered and protected species. They live in warm ocean waters and cannot retract their heads or legs into their shells the way land turtles do. Green Sea Turtles grow up to 4 feet long and 500 lbs, do not reproduce until 25-50 years of age and may live to 80 years. Primary predators are large sharks and humans. Green Sea Turtles are named for the color of their fat, which is green from their diet of algae & seaweed. They usually live near coral reefs, swimming 30-60 feet deep, and often sunning on the surface or on rocks or sand during the day and sleeping underwater at night in crevices in the reefs during which time they can hold their breath up to 2 hours. They are easily seen from shore or while snorkeling or diving. Sea turtles mate in the ocean and females lay and bury their eggs in sand on the beach.

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