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Green turtles, like all sea turtles, grow very slowly. Different populations of turtles grow at different rates based on habitat quality, availability and abundance of food sources, and environmental conditions. A typical, healthy green turtle will grow only half an inch (1-2 cm) per year until they reach maturity. It likely takes between 25-40 years for a green turtle to reach maturity and reproduce for the first time.
So little is still understood about our deep oceans. One study recently discovered that the deep ocean had 898 species in an area about half the size of a tennis court. Over half of these species had never been identified before by scientists, and that’s not even including all the microscopic organisms that can be found.
Though it sounds like something out of a Halloween movie, ghost-fishing is actually a serious problem. Ghost-fishing occurs when abandoned or lost nets and traps continue to catch animals, leaving then to die in the nets. Ghost fishing nets are a common source of marine debris that causes the needless death of numerous marine animals. Remember to properly dispose of all your netting when fishing!
Ocean acidification happens when increased carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the ocean. The excess carbon dioxide lowers the pH of our oceans, making them more acidic. This becomes a threat for sensitive animals like corals and shellfish because it reduces their ability to build calcium carbonate skeletons.
Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
Photo: Luiz Rocha/California Academy of Sciences, ABC News Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of coral bleaching events as a result of rising sea surface temperatures. The coral animals that build the foundation framework of coral reef ecosystems are sensitive to these thermal stress events that occur in the marine environment and can respond to this stress in a visually striking way known as coral “bleaching”. When corals bleach, the symbiotic algae held in their tissues are lost, generating the stark white color giving this response its name. Under normal... (more)