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Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Honu in Hawaiian

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Green Sea Turtles have been swimming in the world's oceans for over 200 million years. When Christopher Columbus first sailed to the New World, he saw so many turtles in the waters of the Caribbean that he named the islands nearby, The Tortugas (the Turtles).

The ancient Hawaiians called the Green Sea Turtles in Hawaii's waters honu and many of their earliest myths tell stories of the turtles, yet the royalty also enjoyed the meat of the turtle as food. Today, however, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is on the verge of extinction and protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

An adult Green Sea Turtle's shell can measure more than three feet in straight length, and weigh 220 pounds. The term "green" applies not to the external coloration, but to the color of the turtle's subdermal fat. The shell of adult Green Sea Turtles is light to dark brown, sometimes shaded with olive, with radiating wavy or mottled markings of a darker color or with large blotches of dark brown.

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