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Flatback Sea Turtle

© written by Tasha Guenther

Baby Flatback Sea turtle

"Flatback Sea Turtle"; used with permission under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Flatback sea turtle (Natator depressus) looks similar to the Green sea turtle, but don't get these two confused! Different from other sea turtles, the Flatback has an extremely flat shell (carapace). Like other sea turtles (such as the Green and Olive Ridley), the Flatback sea turtle cannot withdraw its head and limbs into its shell. The Flatback sea turtle is a part of the sea turtle family, Cheloniidae.

The Flatback's shell colour is green and the outside ring of its shell is turned upward - kind of like a dinner plate. Like the Green sea turtle, the Flatback is a large turtle, measuring 92 cm and weighing up to 200 pounds!

Though other females in turtle species lay up to 100 eggs per clutch, the Flatback females lay only 50 - the hatchlings are larger and survive a lot better than other turtle species hatchlings.

Like other turtles, the Flatback sea turtle is an omnivore. This means that it eats both meat and veggies! Its diet consists of small fish, shrimp, small lobster, algae, seaweed, seagrass, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and the like!