Sea-turtle ID

P8022982, 72ppi.jpg
P8022983, 72ppi.jpg

I just don't "get" sea-turtle IDs. Is this a greenie? How do you know?

August 2, 2010, depth about 100 feet, wreck of the "Duane," Key Largo, Florida. Visibility close to 100'. Temperature 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Turtle very diver friendly; it swam to within three feet of me, and swam with me, posing for photos. Small-to-medium size turtle.

Thank You,

Hawkbill, I believe.

First Costal Plate does not touch Nuchal so it is Green or Hawkbill and not Loggerhead or Ridley. Greens have a pair of plates (2scales) between the eyes when head is seen from above, Hawkbills 2 pairs (4 scales) This can not be seen clearly in your side view pic. Also the scales along the spine on the hawkbill are "shingled" while on the green they fit more like tiles. But this cannot be seen clearly in your pic either. But I think I see 2 claws on the front flipper of your turtle (greens only have 1 claw). Most of all though, the "hawk-like beak on your turtle (greens have a much more flat snout). For further help google "sea turtle identification" under images, there is a bunch of helpful info.

Another view of the same turtle

I will go to Google, but, I also added another view of the same turtle -- slightly more overhead. [I did not know how to add a photo to my comment.] Does it give you any more information?

Thank You,


Definitely a Hawksbill. Overlapping plates, shell pattern, and slender head confirm it's identity.

That's great.

That's great. Thank you. At first, I suspected a green turtle. I am learning a great deal.

I sincrely thank you for your knowledge and sharing it so freely; it is truly appreciated.

Thank You,

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