Posted by admin | 11.12.2014 | Marine Science
Common name: Hawksbill turtle
Scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricate
Distribution: Tropical waters worldwide
Nests on: Tropical beaches worldwide, mainly remote islands.
Beach type: Narrow beaches on islands or mainland shores, with reefs obstructing offshore approach. Lakshadweep, Andamans, and few beaches in Nicobar such as Indira Point in Great Nicobar. Hawksbills often nest under overhanging vegetation (unlike ridleys which nest in open areas).
Weight (adult): 150 kg
Carapace length: 80 – 100 cm
Carapace shape: Oval, strongly serrated posterior margin, thick imbricate scutes.
Colouration: Brown, boldly marked with amber and brown variegations.
Costal scutes: 4 pairs (ragged posterior border)
Head shape: Narrow, straight bird like beak
Prefrontal scales: 2 pairs
Limbs: Two claws on each flipper
Plastron: Light yellow to white
Other features: Vertebrals (centrals) large, so that first costal does not contact nuchal scute.
Time of nesting: Night/Day
Clutches per season: 3 – 5
Clutch size: 120 – 150 (up to 180)
Egg size: ~ 3.5 cm in diameter
Re-nesting interval: 12 – 14 days
Re-migration interval: 2 – 5 years
Track: 70 – 85 cm wide, shallow, with asymmetrical (alternating) oblique marks made by forelimbs, tail marks present or absent. Often hard to distinguish from tracks of ridleys, but the two species nest in very different beach types.