Thursday, August 21, 2014
Creature Feature #306: Hawksbill Turtle
The Hawksbill Turtle is a critically endangered reptile. She favours tropical coral reefs. Her main diet consists of sea sponges, although she also eats jellyfish, algae and sea anemones. Every two years, she comes ashore in secluded lagoons to mate. After mating, she hauls herself ashore under cover of darkness, digs a nesting hole with her rear flippers and lays her eggs. This can take many hours, during which she buries them again and returns to the sea. The baby turtles hatch two months later, during the night, and begin the perilous journey to the sea. Any that remain out during daylight are preyed upon by birds and other predators. It takes decades for these youngsters to attain maturity.