© Hazel Cruzado
The green sea turtle is the most common species in Okinawa, they have a small head, with 4 lateral scutes and 5 central scutes that are of similar size, usually shiny with sunburst patterns, and they have 1 pair of prefrontal scales.
One pair prefrontal scales (scales between eyes)
Mouth: Greens sea turtles have a beak with finely serrated edges, like the teeth of a saw, which enable them to tear seagrasses and scrape algae off of hard surfaces.
フリッパー: One claw on front flipper
The loggerhead sea turtle comes to Japan only to nest, so they are not as commonly seen as green sea turtles. They have a big head, with 5 lateral and 5 central scutes, and often have barnacles adhered to their carapace.
More than one pair prefrontal scales
Mouth: Loggerhead Sea Turtles have strong, big jaws that enable them to crush hard-shelled prey like conchs and whelks.
フリッパー: Two claws on front flipper
Hawksbill sea turtles are encountered every once in a while in Okinawa, more often on the smaller islands like Zamami. The central scutes are imbricated (overlapped) and the beak is “hooked”