Kemp's ridley sea turtle

Lepidochelys kempii

Family Dermochelys - turtle, sea

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Shell disk-shaped; upper shell (carapace) color grey to olive green, the lower shell (plastron) is yellow; head large; legs flipper-like; 5 vertebral scutes (plates) and 5 pair of lateral scutes on upper shell; raised keel down center of shell; 4 inframarginal scutes (between front and back legs on lower shell, connect the plastron and carapace) with a distinct pore on each one; front flippers have 1 claw, back flippers have 2 claws; head has a hooked beak; 2 pairs of prefrontal scales (between the eyes) on head.
Similar Species
Resembles the loggerhead sea turtle which has only 3 inframarginal plates with no pores and 2 claws on front flippers. Its carapace is more heart-shaped.
Habitat
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
70 cm (27 1/2 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
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