The green turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle, it has a carapace (shell) up to 1.4 m in length and can weigh a total of 180 kg. The green turtles smooth carapace, small rounded head and four pairs of scales (costal scutes) is what distinguishes it from other sea turtles. The shell of this species varies in colour from olive to brown, grey and black with swirls and irregular patterns.The green turtle is protected form international trade by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Populations of green turtles are in serious decline due to a number of factors. These include loss of nesting habitats, destruction of nests by poachers, propeller wounds, interaction with commercial fisheries and ingestion of marine debris, demand for their eggs and meat for human consumption.
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