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Flatback turtle
Natator - McCulloch, 1908

Pronunciation: na-TAY-tor
Etymology: Latin for 'swimmer'.

Taxonomic notes:

Genus created in 1908.1

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

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: flatback turtle (Natator depressus) at 100 cm
 Longest Australian species: flatback turtle (Natator depressus) at up to 100 cm
Number of Australian species: 1

flatback turtle (Natator depressus)
Bowen, Queensland
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
flatback turtle (Natator depressus) distribution range map Natator depressus
Flatback turtle
Year described
(Garman 1880)
Grey or pale grey-green or olive above, the plates of the carapace covered by a thin, fleshy skin in adults. Creamy yellow below, the ventral colour extending on to the sides of the neck and face. Hatchlings olive-green, the margins of the dorsal scutes broadly outlined in black. Head moderate. Three postoculars. Shell broadly oval, more or less heart-shaped, with upturned lateral edges in adults, covered (in adults) by thin skin. Four costal shields on each side. Upper eyelid of small, irregular, subequal scales. Distal half of forelimb with rows of enlarged scales extending along phalanges separated by areas of small, irregular scales or wrinkled skin. One pair of prefrontal scales on head.

  1. McCulloch, A.R. (1908). A new genus and species of turtle, from north Australia. Records of the Australian Museum, 7(2):126-128.
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