Turtle Species ID

2011-11-05 Dive 8 Wellwood Coral Restoration Project Un ID'd Sea Turtle 3.JPG

My only reference for positively id-ing turtle species is a printed page.  Any suggestions about where to find any product better for turtle species id?  


I did not clearly see the beak to help determine it if was a hawksbill.  So, I'm left with three possibles, Green, Hawksbill or Kemp's Ridley.  

I first saw it at the surface while I was on the bottom in about 30 ft.  It descended and headed close enough to get this picture.  




Green Turtle

Here's a good pdf on Sea Turtle ID: http://www.seaturtle.org/documents/ID_sheet.pdf

You've found a Green Turtle. It only has four coastal plates (see pdf) and the plates fit in nicely together (vs. overlapping plates).

Hawksbills usually have cleary visible overlapping plates and a jagged edge on the rear half of their shell. Very obvious in this photo: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/srp-view.aspx?id=130271

An easier way to tell them apart is by the beak - Hawksbills have 2 pairs of scales on the top on their snout and Greens only have 1 pair.

Nice Photo!


Green Turtle

Excellent!  Thanks!  The ID chart is very helpful as is the hawksbill photo.  

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