Natator depressus EN

Scientific name: Natator depressus (Garman 1880)

Common name: Tartaruga Australiana ou Tartaruga de Carapaça Achatada (Pt), Flatback (En), Chelonée à dos Plat ou Tortue Marine à dos Plat (Fr), Tortuga Franca Oriental (Sp).

This species is found only in the waters around Australia, Papua New Guinea and Timor, hence it is also known as the Australian flatback.

 

Like the Green turtle, the flatback turtle has a single pair of prefrontal scales on the head (between eyes). The shell is very characteristic and unique, being flattened, oval or round, very smooth, and with only four pairs of lateral scutes. Its color is olive green. The edge of the carapace is yellowish, slightly bent and covered by a thin wax layer.

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The hatchlings are bigger than the ones of the other species and also have a very characteristic color, with a reticulated dark gray and olive green pattern in the center of each scute.

 

They can measure up to 1 meter in length and weigh about 90 kg.

They lay up to four clutches each reproductive season, each having an average of 50 eggs, which is relatively lower when compared to other species. The eggs are incubated for approximately 55 days.

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The global population of annual nesting females has been estimated to be around 20,200 individuals.