Not particularly large compared to other sea turtles, hawksbills grow up to about 45 inches in shell length and 150 pounds in weight. While young, their carapace, or upper shell, is heart-shaped, and as they mature it elongates. Their strikingly colored carapace is serrated and has overlapping scutes, or thick bony plates.
The hawksbill turtle’s tapered head ends in a sharp point resembling a bird’s beak, hence its name. A further distinctive feature is a pair of claws adorning each flipper. Male hawksbills have longer claws, thicker tails, and somewhat brighter coloring than females.
Hawksbill turtles are found throughout the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They avoid deep waters, preferring coastlines where the