Hawksbill Turtle

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Hawksbill Turtle

 

(Eretmochelys imbricata), a reptile of the family Chelonidae. The length of the shell is up to 85 cm. The dorsal shield is dark brown or chestnut colored with a yellow or rose design of spots and rays; the ventral shield is yellow.

The hawksbill turtle is found in all tropical and subtropical seas. It feeds on mollusks and fish, and partly on water plants. It leaves the water only during reproduction. Each year the female hawksbill turtles deposit more than 100 eggs on low sandy banks. The development lasts approximately 60 days. The horny shields which cover the hawksbill turtle’s shell (known as tortoiseshell) are highly valued and have long been an object of commerce. Hawksbill turtles are caught on the shore during reproduction, often before they can deposit their eggs. As a result of increased annihilation, the number of hawksbill turtles has decreased sharply. The flesh is not used as food.