The House of Green Sea Turtle

DID YOU KNOW?

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The green sea turtle gets its name not from the color of its shell (which is typically brown, gray, black and yellow) but from the greenish shade of its fat.
A serrated beak helps these herbivores tear through vegetation. Their shells, which are lighter and more hydrodynamic than those of terrestrial turtles, allow them to glide easily through the water, while flippers enable them to swim long distances.
Male sea turtles spend their entire lives at sea, but females return to the same beaches they were born on, once every two years or so, to lay eggs.

Diet
As juveniles, green sea turtles are carnivorous, feeding on jellies and other invertebrates. As adults they are strictly herbivores, feeding on sea grasses, algae and other vegetation.
Size
With a shell length of 3.5 feet and weighing upward of 400 pounds, green sea turtles are second in size only to the behemoth leatherback sea turtle.
Range
Green sea turtles are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, along the coasts of continents and islands. They are known to nest in more than 80 countries.
Population Status
Globally, green sea turtle populations are in decline. In the U.S., certain populations are threatened or endangered. Many are killed unintentionally as by catch or die following entanglement in discarded fishing gear or after ingesting marine debris, especially plastics.
In parts of their range, nesting is hindered by coastal development and other activities. After hatching at night, baby sea turtles find their way to the ocean by following the brightest horizon. Confused, many head toward the artificial lights of houses, hotels or other structures and never reach the water.
Some populations suffer from fibropapilloma. Turtles with this disease develop fleshy tumors on the skin and internal organs that can impair vision, feeding, breathing and other vital functions.
Predators
Raccoons, foxes, dogs, seabirds and ghost crabs prey upon turtle eggs. Juveniles are eaten by seabirds, crabs and carnivorous fish. Adults may be eaten by tiger sharks. Humans, however, pose the greatest threat due to harmful fishing practices, nesting beach destruction, pollution and turtle harvesting.
Humans, however, are the greatest threat to sea turtles. People harvest adults and eggs, disturb nesting beaches, pollute and fish in ways that are harmful to turtles.

DID YOU KNOW?
Sea turtles are unable to pull their heads or appendages into their shells.
The green turtle is a large, weighty sea turtle with a wide, smooth carapace, or shell. It inhabits tropical and subtropical coastal waters around the world and has been observed clambering onto land to sunbathe.
It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. There are two types of green turtles—scientists are currently debating whether they are subspecies or separate species—including the Atlantic green turtle, normally found off the shores of Europe and North America, and the Eastern Pacific green turtle, which has been found in coastal waters from Alaska to Chile.

Weighing up to 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world. Their proportionally small head, which is non-retractable, extends from a heart-shaped carapace that measures up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Males are slightly larger than females and have a longer tail. Both have flippers that resemble paddles, which make them powerful and graceful swimmers.
Unlike most sea turtles, adult green turtles are herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and algae. Juvenile green turtles, however, will also eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish, and sponges.
While most sea turtles warm themselves by swimming close to the surface of shallow waters, the Eastern Pacific green turtle will take to land to bask in the sun. Occasionally seen sunbathing alongside seals and albatrosses, it is one of the few marine turtles known to leave the water other than at nesting times.
Green turtles, like other sea turtles, undertake lengthy migrations from feeding sites to nesting grounds, normally on sandy beaches. Mating occurs every two to four years and normally takes place in shallow waters close to the shore. To nest, females leave the sea and choose an area, often on the same beach used by their mothers, to lay their eggs. They dig a pit in the sand with their flippers, fill it with a clutch of 100 to 200 eggs, cover the pit and return to the sea, leaving the eggs to hatch after about two months. The most dangerous time of a green turtle’s life is when it makes the journey from nest to sea. Multiple predators, including crabs and flocks of gulls, voraciously prey on hatchlings during this short scamper.
Green turtles are listed as an endangered species, and a subpopulation in the Mediterranean is listed as critically endangered. Despite this, they are still killed for their meat and eggs. Their numbers are also reduced by boat propeller accidents, fishnet-caused drowning, and the destruction of their nesting grounds by human encroachment.

My Client came to me from the East bay. He Claimed he was a large percentage true Hawaiian blood. His village area had the Turtle as a spiritual Symbol of their place. HE asked for a large tattoo coming across his back. I suggested we place the turtle so the front flippers would extend out onto his arms . He accepted my advise and I began to seek out photographs of the turtle. Seeing so much reflected color in these images I understood that the shell was in reality brown but the light passing through the surface of the clear waters that are it habitat were just to varied and wonderful not to employ them in the final product. I yearned to create a visual sense that the turtle was gliding underwater with light reflecting across it’s body without employing a graphic description of water.

Here are images of the tattoo in process spread out over a one year period!
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Let me know what you think, I am very proud of this tattoo.

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