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Hawksbill turtle
Eretmochelys - Fitzinger, 1843

Pronunciation: e-RET-moh-KEE-liss
 Etymology: 'oak turtle', in reference to the (supposedly) oak-leaf-shaped flippers.1

Taxonomic notes:

Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 1 out of 1 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) at 100 cm
 Longest Australian species: hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) at up to 100 cm
Number of Australian species: 1

hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Photo © Mariana Fuentes
hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) distribution range map Eretmochelys imbricata
Hawksbill turtle
Year described
(Linnaeus 1766)
Olive-green or brown above, richly variegated with reddish-brown, dark brown and black. Scales of head and face often dark with pale contrasting sutures. Whitish below. Hatchlings blackish above, dark below. Head rather small. Three postoculars. Shell distinctly and somewhat narrowly heart-shaped. Four costal shields on each side. Beak-like snout (hence the common name). Scutes on carapace overlap. Two pairs of prefrontal scales on top of head.

  1. Ehmann, Harald (1992). Encyclopedia of Australian animals: Reptiles. Angus and Robertson. 495 pp - search web for this book
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