Australian Flatback (Natator depressus)
Category: Sea Turtle
The Australian Flatback sea turtle is only found in the coastal waters off northern Australia The Australian Flatback are medium-sized with relatively short flippers. They have a broad head and flattened carapace. The Australian Flatback unlike other sea turtle hatchlings don’t have a pelagic phase. A pelagic phase means they do not live in open waters. Hatchlings grow and remain close to the Australian coast especially in the mangrove areas.
Adult Australian Flatback turtles range from1 30 to 185 pounds. The carapace length reaches 32 to 38 inches in adult turtles.
Their diet consist of sea cucumbers, jellyfish, mollusks, prawns, bryozoans and other invertebrates.
Their habitat is limited to the coastal waters of northern Australia. Australian Flatback sea turtles do not venture beyond the Australia’s continental shelf. They prefer the murky inshore waters and the bays.
One of the biggest threats to the Australian flatback turtle is the potential loss of extremely limited breeding grounds.