The Sea Turtles of Milaidhoo

Sep 21, 2019 Marine Biology

Our reef at Milaidhoo  is currently home to five resident Hawksbill sea turtles. So it wouldn’t be surprising if you meet Sam, Bumblebee, Emmy, Flori or Milly when snorkelling on our house reef.

Hawksbill sea turtles are mostly found in warm waters and are very common around Indo-Pacific coral reefs. They get their name from their narrow head that ends in a point and from their sharp beak. This is very useful for them to dig sponges out of crevices. The Hawksbill’s diet consists mainly of sponges, sea anemone and jellyfish. The carapace is a characteristic of this species of turtle. The scutes are marbled with yellow, brown and black, and are overlapping, which gives a serrated-look to the edges of the shell.

All species of turtle are reptiles, which means that they regularly need to come to the surface to breath air. They are incredibly skilled free-divers and only need to breathe every 20 to 40 minutes when they are actively swimming, while they can hold their breath for a few hours when they are resting on the bottom of a reef.

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