Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill Turtle

The hawksbill turtle’s scientific name, “Eretmochelys imbricata” describes the imbricate, overlapping scutes on its carapace that set it apart from other sea turtles.

With the exception of very old individuals, hawksbill turtles often have a strongly serrated edge on the lateral and posterior areas of their shells, giving a saw-like appearance of the shell margins.

Unlike other marine turtles, the thick scales, or scutes, of the hawksbill turtle’s carapace are imbricate, or overlapping, hence the scientific name, “imbricata.” These scales have four pairs of costal scutes.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994; Pilcher; Turtle Trax, 2005; Wikimedia Foundation, 2018; WWF)
Image: Laszlo Ilyes


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