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Hawksbill Turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata
80 cm

Where Hawksbill Turtles are found. Map from GBIF.
Count Log
1 on 12 May 2009 8:27 AM

Encyclopedia of Life
Visit this species on the Encyclopedia of Life to find out more!
You can find us in tropical waters around coral reefs. We spend our whole lives in the water, but we often come up for air. Since we are reptiles we breathe with lungs and can't breathe underwater! The only time you will find us out of the water is when females are laying our eggs. Female turtles will crawl onto a beach, dig a hole, and then will lay 100 to 140 eggs. Females will come to the same beach every time they lay eggs. Only one out of every 100 eggs laid will become an adult turtle because so many other animals like to eat tiny turtles!
Fun Facts
Many people think that my shell is the most beautiful sea turtle shell in the world! I get my name because my sharp turtle beak is curved downward and looks like a hawk's beak. No one is sure how long I can live, but many scientists think I can live to be 50 years old.
Most all of my food can be found in coral reefs. My favorite food is a sponge! I will also use my strong beak to munch and crunch on snails, sea urchins, starfish, jellyfish, and even octopi. I will also eat seagrasses and different types of algae. I eat both plants and animals, so I'm an omnivore.
I am critically endangered! Some think that my population size has decreased by 80% in the last 100 years! Because my shell is so beautiful people have been hunting me for thousands of years. They use my shell in jewelry and for decorations. I am on the Endangered Species List and it is now illegal to buy and sell my shell. But some people still try to sell my shell on the black market. There are many organizations that try to protect me; one is the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.