The green sea turtle is the one of the most common sea turtles, and also one of the hardest to identify. The green sea turtle is capable of mating with other species of sea turtles, creating hybrid turtles with characteristics of both species. If you think you have a hybrid, do your best to identify it, and take many pictures. The average carapace length (shell size) of a green sea turtle is 78 to 112cm (31 to 44in), and adults can grow to be as large as 1.5m (5ft) overall.

 

 

Green ID

Illustration: Kaitlin Asson

Key identifying characteristics

1. Head has a serrated jaw

2. Beak is not hooked (The hawksbill turtle has a hooked beak.)

3. Body is oval in shape

4. Four lateral scutes

5. Front flippers have only one claw

6. Carapace color is various shades of green, and can be plain or contain radiating stripes in brilliant yellow, green, or brown.

Before attempting to identify a turtle, alert the

Oregon Marine Mammal Network at 1-800-452-7888

Examples

 

 

Green Sea Turtle found washed ashore on eastern Island, in the Pacific Islands, after March 10, 2011, tsunami.  Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Green Sea Turtle found washed ashore on eastern Island, in the Pacific Islands, after March 10, 2011, tsunami. Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Green Sea Turtle crawling on the sand at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.  Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Green Sea Turtle crawling on the sand at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Green Sea turtle resting on the beach on Oahu, HI.  Photo credit: Danielle Asson

A Green Sea turtle resting on the beach on Oahu, HI. Photo credit: Danielle Asson

A Green Sea turtle basking in the sun on a beach on Oahu, HI.  Photo credit: Danielle Asson

A Green Sea turtle basking in the sun on a beach on Oahu, HI. Photo credit: Danielle Asson