BC: References: Animal Diversity Web Enchantedlearning.com
FC: Hawksbill Sea Turtle by: Ellen D. Mutter
1: Scientific Classification: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata Class: Reptilia Order: Testudines Family: Cheloniidae Genus: Eretmochelys Species: Eretmochelys imbricata
2: The Hawksbill turtle is found mainly in the tropical regions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They have been reported to have nests as far north as Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The hawksbill is also present in the Long Island Sound. Biographic Regions: Australia, Oceanic Islands, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea.
3: Habitat: The hawksbill turtle is commonly found in hard-bottomed and reef habitats that contain sponges. They also reside in lagoons, continental shelves, and shoals. They're typically found in water no deeper than sixty feet.
5: There are five features that distinguish the hawksbill from other sea turtles. The head has two pairs of prefrontal scales. Also they have two claws on each of their forelimbs. Another feature is thick, overlapping scutes on their carapaces, which also have four pairs of costal scutes. The last but probably the most distinguishable is the elongated mouth that resembles a beak, and tapers off to a sharp point at the end. | Anatomy: The sea turtle is a cold-blooded animal that is a strong swimmer and good diver. It has four flipper-like legs that are attached to its backbone. The sea turtle cannot pull its head and legs into the shell. The turtle varies in color from shades of brown to green to black. Sea turtles vary in size from 2 to 6 feet long and can weigh between 78 to 1900 pounds. During the sea turtle's active times they must surface every few minutes in order to breathe air.
6: Physical Description: Young hawksbill turtles carapace is heart-shaped. As the turtle matures their carapace becomes more elongated, with the exception of very old hawksbill sea turtles the lateral and posterior areas of the carapace are serrated.
7: Reproduction: The reproductive maturity of hawksbill sea turtles is around the age of 3. The hawksbill turtle hatches from an egg. The female turtle lays a clutch of eggs. She will lay three clutches a year at an interval of roughly thirteen to fifteen days. | The breeding season generally occurs between the months of July and October. On average the mother will lay around 140 eggs. The gestation period is an average of 60 days. Mating season occurs every 2 to 3 years in mainly shallow water. The female goes ashore while the male waits in the shallow water. The female selects a site, clears the area, and proceeds to dig a pit in the sand. She then lays the eggs and proceeds to fill the pit using her hind limbs. After she disguises the site she returns to sea. After around 60 days the eggs hatch and the newborn turtles dash to the water where they will mature.
8: Life Span: Biologists are not exactly sure how long the hawksbill sea turtles life span is, they think it is around 30 to 50 years. Behavior: The hawksbill is known to remain in one local area for the duration of their life. However, there have been recent studies of them migrating very long distances during their life time.
9: Food Habitats: Hawksbill sea turtles feed primarily on specific sponges, some of which are toxic to other animals. They also eat fish, mollusks, aquatic or marine worms, aquatic crustaceans, echinoderms, cnidarians, and other invertebrates.
10: Predators: Humans Domestic Dogs Raccoons Rats Gulls Ghost Crabs Tiger Sharks Requiem Sharks Groupers Estuarine Crocodiles Common Octopus
11: It is currently illegal to trade, purchase, or even sell hawksbill sea turtle products. With this in place it should help expand the population of the hawksbill turtle. | Conservation Status: ENDANGERED For years, the hawksbill sea turtle has been hunted by humans to sell their scutes. Humans also eat the turtle as well as their eggs.