are green sea turtles reptiles

Are Green Sea Turtles Reptiles?

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is an iconic species of turtle found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. But are they classified as reptiles?

What Qualifies a Species as a Reptile?

Typically, if a species is classified as a reptile, they typically share the following characteristics:

  • A scaled exterior
  • An absence of feathers or fur
  • A three-chambered heart
  • A dry body

Are Green Sea Turtles Reptiles?

Yes, green sea turtles are classified as reptiles! They have a hard, scaly carapace (shell) and scales on the underside of their body, called a plastron. In addition, green sea turtles have a three-chambered heart and a dry body, furthering their classification as reptiles.

How Do Green Sea Turtles Differ from Other Reptiles?

Green sea turtles differ from many other reptiles as they are aquatic animals, meaning they live and spend most of their time in water. There are other reptiles that are aquatic, such as crocodiles and sea snakes, but the green sea turtle has adapted to spend the majority of its life in the water.

Green sea turtles also are unique in the fact that they are herbivores, meaning they do not consume other animals or insects. Rather, green sea turtles graze on seagrass and algae.


So to answer the question as to whether or not green sea turtles are reptiles, the answer is yes! They are reptiles and have adapted to live a majority of their lives in the water, in contrast to other reptiles. Though, some may differ from other reptiles for dietary reasons or habitat adaptations, green sea turtles are a species of reptile.

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