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Green turtle clip art

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The species was originally described by Linnaeus in 1758 as Testudo mydas. In 1868, Marie Firmin Bocourt named a particular species of sea turtle Chelonia agassizii. This "species" was referred to as the "black sea turtle". Later research determined Bocourt's "black sea turtle" was not genetically distinct from C. mydas, and thus taxonomically not a separate species. These two "species" were then united as Chelonia mydas and populations were given subspecies status: C. mydas mydas referred to the originally described population, while C. mydas agassizi referred only to the Pacific population known as the Galápagos green turtle. This subdivision was later determined to be invalid and all species members were then designated Chelonia mydas. The oft-mentioned name C. agassizi remains an invalid junior synonym of C. mydas. Other authorities claim that the two populations are phenotypically distinct and treat the East Pacific form as a full species. [better source needed]