Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Elephas Maximus

It is a sea turtle from the keloniid family (Cheloniidae), found in tropical and subtropical seas. Species critically endangered due to indiscriminate hunting. Its natural habitat is coral reefs and shallow coastal waters, such as estuaries and lagoons, and can occasionally be found in deep waters. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies. Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata is the Atlantic subspecies while the subspecies Eretmochelys imbricata bissa is found in the Indo-Pacific region. It has a carapace covered by intertwined horny plates, has an orange background with an irregular combination of light and dark bands, with a predominance of brown and black colors radiating to the sides, measuring between 80 and 90 cm in length. Its head is narrow and its mouth forms a beak that allows it to feed in the crevices of coral reefs. These turtles eat anemones, squid, shrimp, jellyfish, among other sea creatures.

Due to unsustainable fishing practices, hawksbill turtle populations around the world are currently threatened with extinction and the species is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN/IUCN). Several countries, such as China and Japan, use hawksbill turtle meat in their diet and the shell for decorative purposes. Other threats include plastic pollution, bycatch in fishing gear, urban development that degrades or destroys nesting sites in coastal areas and, of course, climate change. As with other reptiles, the sex of turtles is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs, with higher temperatures generating more females than males (a phenomenon known as feminization), putting the reproduction potential of populations at risk. Furthermore, the hotter it is, the higher the mortality rate of fetuses or newborns.




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