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Hawksbill sea turtle

Eretmochelys imbricata

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Species Type:


Common Name(s):

Hawksbill sea turtle


On average, adult hawksbills weigh between 100-150 pounds (45 - 68 kilograms) and their shells grow to an average length 2.5 feet (0.8 meters).


Hawksbill sea turtles are omnivorous, meaning they munch on meat and plants. Seagrasses, sea urchins, barnacles, sponges, algae and invertebrates are all on the hawksbill's menu.

Range & Habitat:

Hawksbill sea turtles are migratory creatures, meaning they rarely stay in one place for too long. Inhabiting oceans, seas and other tropical waters, hawksbill sea turtles are commonly found in or near coral reefs, rocky coastlines, lagoons and shallow coastal areas.


Hawksbill sea turtles have long, flat limbs perfect for gliding through the water with ease. Different from most other turtle species, hawksbill sea turtles have a pointed, sharp “beak”. Lacking teeth, their sharp beaks and powerful jaws are extremely useful when it comes to crushing, biting and tearing food. Hawksbill sea turtles migrate a lot during their lifetimes, but tend to stay near shore for foraging and breeding purposes. Female hawksbill turtles will return to the same exact spot they were born at to lay their eggs, laying anywhere from 130-160 eggs at a time. These turtles are listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.