Introduction

Chelonia - from the Greek word chelone meaning a tortoise

mydas - also from the Greek, mydos, meaning wetness, referring to its aquatic habitat

The green sea turtle is not named for its external colour, but for the greenish colour of its body fat! Populations of the green turtle have been steadily declining and the species is now considered threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Its flesh and eggs are an important source of protein for coastal peoples, but they are also exploited for their skin (used as leather), fat (used in cosmetics and medicines) and shell (tourist souvenirs).