Categories: world

Meet Honu & ea hawksbill sea turtle

People flock to Hawaii to see our abundant sea turtles. There is nowhere else in the world that has as many sea turtles as Hawaii, and this is because they have been fully protected here for many years. In most Pacific Ocean, sea turtles are still consumed for food and are afraid of men, but here in Hawaii they are fetching, peaceful and have little concern for their safety if they are not hunted by a large tiger shark who may want them to dinner. What very few people do not know is that we have two completely different species of sea turtles here in Hawaii. The common green sea turtle is seen everywhere, but the very rare hawkbill turtle is extremely rare. As a marine biologist I have done over 1 000 scuba dives in Hawaii shooting video and I have seen thousands of green sea turtles but only six hawksbill turtles. The hawk fish got their name from the beak's shape, as it looks like a hawk. The green sea turtle has a short rounded beak. This is because the hawksbill uses its sharp, pointed beak to get back into caves and cracks to feed on mushrooms, soft corals and colonial sea anemones, while the green sea turtle feeds on seaweed that grows on the rocks or seabed. In Hawaii, this seaweed is called limu. Hawksbill's Hawaiian name, "ea" means "reddish brown", which is the color of their scales. On the other hand, you can tell the two…

People flock to Hawaii to see our abundant sea turtles. There is nowhere else in the world that has as many sea turtles as Hawaii, and this is because they have been fully protected here for many years.

In most Pacific Ocean, sea turtles are still consumed for food and are afraid of men, but here in Hawaii they are fetching, peaceful and have little concern for their safety if they are not hunted by a large tiger shark who may want them to dinner.

What very few people do not know is that we have two completely different species of sea turtles here in Hawaii.

The common green sea turtle is seen everywhere, but the very rare hawkbill turtle is extremely rare. As a marine biologist I have done over 1

000 scuba dives in Hawaii shooting video and I have seen thousands of green sea turtles but only six hawksbill turtles.

The hawk fish got their name from the beak’s shape, as it looks like a hawk. The green sea turtle has a short rounded beak. This is because the hawksbill uses its sharp, pointed beak to get back into caves and cracks to feed on mushrooms, soft corals and colonial sea anemones, while the green sea turtle feeds on seaweed that grows on the rocks or seabed. In Hawaii, this seaweed is called limu. Hawksbill’s Hawaiian name, “ea” means “reddish brown”, which is the color of their scales.

On the other hand, you can tell the two turtle species apart, the green sea turtle has a smooth upper shell called carapace, with smooth edges, while the hawksbill has a rough carapace that has sharp edges on the shell. The turtle of a sea turtle is made of individual scales called “scutes”. The Sagittarius on the green sea turtle fits together in a plain pattern, while the hawk fish blames overlapping. The upper shell of the turtle is in fact the spine and ribs that are fused together to form the hard cover to protect its soft inner body.

Both of these tortoise species can become large and it is easy to tell men from females. The males have a very large long tail and the females have a very short tail. The males also have a concave under the shell and the fees have a flat under shell. These turtles measure in the water and the male balance at the top of the female, so it has the concave shell to do.

Like the green sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle lays her eggs buried in the sand on distant beaches in the winter months. The children hatch a few months later and climb over the sand back to the sea. The children live the first five years of their life out into the deep sea way away from land feeding on jellyfish. One of the problems with the sea turtles is that they will often eat a liquid plastic bag given that it is a jellyfish, and this can cause them to die. The turtles are also killed from time to time by boat strike and military activity.

The sea turtle is protected here in Hawaii according to federal threatened arterial laws. There are thought to be less than 100 adult females left in Hawaii and some of their survival rates are many of the beaches they use to lay eggs are now covered in homes and filled with tourists.

Recently on the Kauai North Shore, due to the roads caused by the massive 2018 flood, there have been some successful hawksbill extensions that have not occurred in May. These turtles need large, uncrowded beaches to survive, just like monk seals and other marine life.

If you happen to see one of these very special creatures, send me an email to [email protected] and let me know when and where so I can hopefully react and take some pictures. We have a database of hawksbill images in Hawaii, so we can try to keep track of their movements, breeding and figures.

You can also see my entire hour of educational film about Hawaiian Sea Turtles on my website at www.underwater2web .com, along with my other educational videos, we show at our local schools which are also available to the public.

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Kauai Marine Biologist Terry Lilley’s underwater images and educational videos are on their website, www.underwater2web.com.

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Faela