Posted by admin | 11.12.2014 | Marine Science

Hawksbill turtle


Common name: Hawksbill turtle

Scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricate

Distribution: Tropical waters worldwide

Nests on: Tropical beaches worldwide, mainly remote islands.

Beach type: Narrow beaches on islands or mainland shores, with reefs obstructing offshore approach. Lakshadweep, Andamans, and few beaches in Nicobar such as Indira Point in Great Nicobar. Hawksbills often nest under overhanging vegetation (unlike ridleys which nest in open areas).

Weight (adult): 150 kg

Carapace length: 80 – 100 cm

Carapace shape: Oval, strongly serrated posterior margin, thick imbricate scutes.

Colouration: Brown, boldly marked with amber and brown variegations.

Costal scutes: 4 pairs (ragged posterior border)

Head shape: Narrow, straight bird like beak

Prefrontal scales: 2 pairs

Limbs: Two claws on each flipper

Plastron: Light yellow to white

Other features: Vertebrals (centrals) large, so that first costal does not contact nuchal scute.

Time of nesting: Night/Day

Clutches per season: 3 – 5

Clutch size: 120 – 150 (up to 180)

Egg size: ~ 3.5 cm in diameter

Re-nesting interval: 12 – 14 days

Re-migration interval: 2 – 5 years

Track: 70 – 85 cm wide, shallow, with asymmetrical (alternating) oblique marks made by forelimbs, tail marks present or absent. Often hard to distinguish from tracks of ridleys, but the two species nest in very different beach types.