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Galapagos green turtle

Galapagos green turtle
© Max Bello

Common name:

Galapagos green turtle

Scientific name:

Chelonia mydas agassizii

Spanish name:

Tortuga prieta

Conservation status:



Average lifespan:

80 years

Average size:

84 centimetres

Maximum size:

1.3 metres

Average weight:

65 kilograms

Maximum weight:

136 kilograms


The Galapagos green turtle is only commonly seen in a few places in the world, including Galapagos. They are the only species of sea turtle to nest in Galapagos, with some females returning several times to lay their eggs, and are also the most common species sighted. They live in the tropical and sub-tropical waters around the Pacific islands, differing from other marine turtles by their serrated lower jaw and a single pair of scales covering their eyes. 

Adults are primarily vegetarians whilst juveniles are more opportunistic, eating almost anything. Mating typically occurs in summer during the warmer months. Females will lay their eggs at night after crawling up the beach past the high tide mark and digging a nest with their back flippers. The female will then lay between 50 and 200 eggs before making her way back down to the ocean before the sun rises. These eggs are incubated in the tropical heat for 45-55 days. As with many reptiles, the gender of the hatchlings depends on the temperature the eggs are kept (females occurring at hotter temperatures).

Galapagos green turtles in Galapagos

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