There is some debate amongst sea turtle researchers as to whether an 8th turtle species exist. The Black (Chelonia agassizi) and Green turtles are nearly genetically identical but inhabit different regions. In this case, some researchers consider the Black turtle a sub-species of the Green turtle. On the other hand, other researchers feel that the differences in behavior and physical characteristics are enough to classify it as the 8th species of sea turtle. The debate continues!
1. The 4 scutes running down the carapace edges do not overlap
2. Pair of scutes on the front of the head
3. Front flippers have 1 claw
4. The head size of the Black turtle is smaller than the similar Green turtle
5. This species enjoys the unique sea turtle habit of basking on the rocks and sand during sunlight (scientists say this may be in an effort to regulate body temperature)
• Shell Color: Black
• Weight: Up to 220 lbs. (100 kg.)
• Length: 39 in. (100 cm.) (99 cm.)
• Distribution: Tropical and subtropical waters.
• Habitat: Bays, estuaries and coastal waters
• Diet: Algae, seagrass and mangrove tree shoots
Conservation for Scuba Divers