A few days ago Dad showed Iluka and I a Hawksbill turtle. The rangers had it in a turtle pool in a shed because it was a floater(a floater is a turtle that can’t dive properly) . It’s called a Hawksbill turtle because it has a beak like a hawk (a bird of prey). A Hawksbill turtle is also identified by the sharp points on the shell (they become less visible as the turtle gets older). The turtle had barnacles all over it. Barnacles are shell like creatures that can grow on any solid object that gets covered by water, including turtle shells.
The next day it was raining so when there was a break in it Iluka and I took Mum to see the turtle. The turtle was being soaked in Condi’s crystals to try and remove some of the barnacles, parasites and lice. A few barnacles had come off but not many. When most of the barnacles had come off the turtle was going to be released back into the ocean.
Hawksbill turtle facts:
- Hawksbill turtles are omnivores, they feed mainly on sponges but also eat seagrass, soft corals and shellfish.
- A hatchlings gender depends on the temperature during incubation. Warmer temperatures produce females whereas cooler temperatures produce males.
- Hawksbill turtles produce eggs the size of ping pong balls. Turtle’s eggs have soft shells so that they drop into the nest without breaking.
- Turtles lay from about 80 to 120 eggs each time.
- Turtles come back to the same place where they born to lay their eggs.
I got this information from the “Marine turtles of the Pilbara Coast” brochure.