Green sea turtle

Chelonia mydas

Family Dermochelys - turtle, sea

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Shell oval-shaped with somewhat pointed rear; upper shell (carapace) color olive brown to black, lower shell (plastron) yellow to white; legs flipper-like; upper shell with 5-6 vertebral scutes (plates) and 4 pair of lateral scutes; larger turtles with no keel down the center of carapace; scutes do not overlap; sunburst pattern on scutes; 4 inframarginal scutes (between front and rear legs on lower shell, connect plastron and carapace) without pores; head small, not beak-like; lower jaw serrated; 1 pair of prefrontal scales (between the eyes) on head; 1 claw on each flipper.
Similar Species
Only 2 sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico have 4 lateral scutes, the green and the hawksbill sea turtles. The others have 5 or more or none. The hawksbill sea turtle has overlapping scutes, 2 prefrontal scales and a distinct overbite. The green sea turtle is the only sea turtle in the Gulf with 1 pair of prefrontal scales and without a beaked mouth.
Habitat
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
1.2 cm (4 ft)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
Its name is derived from the color of its fat.

 

 

 

Untitled Document