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Sea Turtle Biology


Flatback sea turtles

Status: Data deficient

Flatback sea turtles are the only species of turtles endemic to one country (Australia). They occur throughout northern Australia nesting on tropical and sub-tropical beaches.

Flatback turtles are characterised by their low domed grey-green carapace with reflex margins. Adult females have an average curved carapace length of around 92cm and weight of 90kg.

Flatback turtles are mostly carnivorous feeding on jellyfish, sea cucumbers, sea pens and soft corals.

Flatback hatchlings are the largest of the Cheloniidae turtle species measuring approx. 6cm in carapace length and weighing 43g. Consequently the adult flatback turtles have a smaller clutch size than other species, laying only 50 eggs.


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An excellent reference on sea turtle ecology is presented in "Sea Turtles: An Ecological Guide" by David Culko and Karen Eckert (2003). To purchase this book please look at our merchandise page.


© 2006.   Last updated February 2012

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PO Box 34u, Charles Darwin University, NT 0815 Australia
Email: [email protected]