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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

21 Turtl-ey Awesome Facts About The Hawksbill Sea Turtle For Kids

Read these Hawksbill Sea Turtle facts for more information.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles, common name being Hawksbill, are called so due to their narrow pointed beak. They have overlapping scales on their shells which makes a distinctive pattern, and these shells are high-value items in the markets known as tortoise shells. They are found in the tropical ocean throughout the world, especially on the coral reefs. They are known to be great travelers and keep roaming oceans. The Hawksbill Sea Turtles have been on the earth for at least 100 million years. They are an important link in the marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds. The Hawksbill Sea Turtles have a heart-shaped carapace or shell when they are younger which elongates as they mature. They prefer to be closer to the shoreline than deep waters. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle’s beak has a tomium which means it has a shape cutting edge like a beak of a bird which gives it a saw-like appearance. Their shell changes color as per the water temperature. The carapace on their back has five central scutes and four pairs of lateral scutes. They consume venomous cnidarians the turtle flesh may be toxic. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle is the first recorded reptile as bio fluorescent. The reason for this phenomenon in these turtles is unknown. Some say it could be because they consume bio fluorescent organisms like hard coral. You may also read about different turtle species by reading snapping turtle facts and olive ridley sea turtle facts.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle is a type of turtle. They are recognized by their beak-like mouth and strikingly colored carapace. They are highly migratory animals who love to travel the tropical oceans.

What class of animal does a Hawksbill Sea Turtle belong to?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle belongs to the reptile class of animals. They are one of its kind reptiles which are found under water. They can't withdraw their head into their shells.

How many Hawksbill Sea Turtles are there in the world?

The population of Hawksbill Sea Turtles has reduced by 80% in the past century. According to a recent estimate of nesting, adult female Hawksbill Sea Turtles of 8000+ have been produced. The nesting colony on Miman island in Queensland, Australia, is the largest Hawksbill Sea Turtle population.

Where does a Hawksbill Sea Turtle live?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle lives in the tropical oceans of the world. They are commonly located and found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The turtles are known as migratory animals who are never found in a particular area or region. They are found near the shorelines on the tropical reefs. The Atlantic subpopulation can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, on the Brazilian coast through southern Virginia and Florida, in the Caribbean, on the beaches of Lesser Antilles, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Costa Rica, Yucatan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other places. The Indo - Pacific sub-population can be found on the eastern coast of Africa, including Madagascar, Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asian coasts, the Malay Archipelago, and northern Australia. The pacific range is found in the southwestern tips of Korea, Japan, and northern New Zealand. The Eastern pacific subpopulation is found on the Baja peninsula of Mexico, southern Peru, ElSalvador, Nicaragua, and Ecuador.

What is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle's habitat?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle’s habitat is tropical waters, rocky areas and coral reef. They can be found resting in the ledges and caves around these reefs. They can also be found in open oceans, mangroves, swamps, and lagoons, basically shallow water regions near the coastline.

Who do Hawksbill Sea Turtles live with?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are solitary travelers of the oceans. They only meet to mate. They keep on migrating and do not stay in the same place for a longer duration.

How long does a Hawksbill Sea Turtle live?

The lifespan of Hawksbill Sea Turtles is unknown. Some scientists estimate it could be 30 - 50 years. It could be more too.

How do they reproduce?

The nesting season for Hawksbill Sea Turtle species is between April and November and are said to attain sexual maturity after 3-5 years of birth. The female hawksbill turtles are known to return to the beaches where they were born to the nest after every two to five years. The mating and nesting happens in shallow waters near to a shore. The females dig a pit in the sands and lay 130 to 160 eggs and cover the pit. The eggs hatch after 60 days. After that, the hatchlings make their journey from the sand to the sea. This time is highly dangerous for the hatchlings as they are preyed upon by the seagulls and crabs. The hatchlings make their short journey towards the sea by watching the reflection of the moon in the sea. By daybreak, if they are not in the sea, they can be preyed upon.  The female Hawksbill Sea Turtles are not present during the hatching or incubation process, the Hawksbills mate biannually in secluded lagoons near their nesting beaches around the world.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Hawksbill Sea Turtles is critically endangered. Due to their slow growth, maturity, and slow reproductive rate, it has become difficult to increase their population. The loss of habitat, illegal Hawksbill shell trade, devastating fishing practices, and lack of nesting sites also contributed to the depleting population. The loss of coral reefs, which are their feeding grounds, illegal poaching for their shells by humans, and bycatch is also leading to declining in population.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle Fun Facts

What do Hawksbill Sea Turtles look like?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles look like mighty graceful animals swimming in the ocean. They are recognized by their beak-like mouth and amazingly patterned caprices. Their flippers let them swim smoothly in the water. Their shell changes color with the temperature of the water.

A Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a beak-like mouth.

How cute are they?

They are cute animals with a fascinating history and brilliant colored shells on their back that protect them from many predators. Each species is known to have a different number and an arrangement of shells. They are cute animals who are critically threatened.

How do they communicate?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are solitary creatures of the ocean. They do not have vocal cords. They are known to produce hissing sounds and other low-frequency sounds.

How big is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are 1 meter in length. They are bigger than the olive ridley turtles and smaller in size than the gigantic leatherback turtles.

How fast can a Hawksbill Sea Turtle swim?

The smooth shells and paddle-like flippers help the Hawksbill Sea Turtle swim at a speed of 24 kmph. They are known to swim almost 4000 plus km.

How much does a Hawksbill Sea Turtle weigh?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle weighs around 80 kg. The record weight of a captured hawksbill was 127 kg.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

What would you call a baby Hawksbill Sea Turtle?

The baby Hawksbill Sea Turtles are called hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle eats sponges mostly. They eat only a select variety of sea sponges. They also eat algae, marine plants, cnidarians, comb jellies, and other jellyfishes, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, sea anemones. The hawksbills are known to eat dangerous jellyfishes like the Portuguese man o’ war and hydrozoan.

Are they poisonous?

They consume sponges and small animals that are known to be poisonous. The fat in the hawksbill body absorbs the toxin without harming them. But if humans consume their meat, it could be harmful to them.

Would they make a good pet?

They are constant travelers. They only return to their nesting grounds for mating and reproduction. To capture them and confine them would be like snatching away their natural habitat. They are also critically endangered species, and efforts are being made to increase their population in the world. It is not advisable to keep them captivated.

Did you know...

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle can travel through the oceans of the world by sensing the planet's magnetic field.

Both males and females sea turtles are of the same size and with not many physical differences.

The sea turtles can remain submerged for 7 hours by lowering their heart rate. They can slow it almost nine minutes between heartbeats.

Why is the Hawksbill Sea Turtle important?

The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are an important part of the marine ecosystem. They are found on coral reefs of the world. They feed on the various sponges on these reefs, which helps to maintain their health. They have been traveling the length and breadth of the ocean for a million years now.

Why is the Hawksbill Sea Turtle endangered?

The exact numbers of Hawksbill Sea Turtles are difficult to come by. The major reason for their declining population is loss of habitat, loss of nesting ground, bycatch, pollution, encroachment, loss of hatchlings and others. In 1982 they were first listed as endangered. It was upgraded to critically endangered in 1996. Worldwide efforts are being made to give them their nesting places during their mating season. Multinational initiatives like the eastern Pacific Hawksbill initiative are working towards understanding this species better and conserving them too.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including Indian star tortoise, or bog turtle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Hawksbill Sea Turtle coloring pages.

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