Hawksbill Turtles

Hawksbill Turtles get their name from the shape of the upper jaw, which is hooked like a hawk's bill. It uses its hooked jaw to dig out food from crevices in the reef. Its favorite food is sea sponges, but it also eats jellyfish, anemones, squid and shrimp. It is one of the few animals that can eat dangerous jellyfish like the Portuguese Man o’ War. It closes its eyes when it feeds on jellyfish, and the stinging tentacles cannot penetrate the turtle’s armored head.

The average lifespan of a Hawksbill Turtle is between 30 and 50 years. Adult Hawksbills weigh an average of about 176 pounds. Hawksbill turtles can dive deeply and remain underwater for an hour or two during the day, and even longer at night while sleeping.

The Hawksbill Turtle is a critically endangered sea turtle. Hawksbill turtle shell is used to make jewelry and other objects. Demand for the shell has endangered the hawksbill populations. You can help save these (and other) turtles by not buying objects made of real tortoise shell. Also, don't throw plastic bags into the ocean, because a turtle may think its a jellyfish, eat it and hurt itself.


This website is a loving tribute to our fish and other sea life comrades and the gorgeous colorful sea world they inhabit.