Hawksbill turtle


Young hawksbill turtles have a heart-shaped carapace. As these turtles mature, their carapaces becomes more elongated. In all of the hawksbill turtles, with the exception of very old individuals, the lateral and posterior areas of the carapace are serrated. The heads of hawksbill turtles taper into a V shape, giving them the appearance of birds’ beaks. (Ernst, et al., 1994“The Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)”, 1999)

Eretmochelys imbricata have 5 features that distinguish them from other sea turtles. Their heads have two pairs of prefrontal scales. They also have two claws on each of their forelimbs. There are thick, overlapping scutes on their carapaces, which also have four pairs of costal scutes. Their elongate mouths resemble a beak, that taper off to a sharp point at the end. (Ernst, et al., 1994“The Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)”, 1999)

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