Species - Australian Flatback Turtle
The Flatback turtle is listed as vunerable. This is the only Australian turtle that breeds solely in Australian waters. It prefers to live in soft-bottomed habitats away from reefs and nests on islands along the length of the Great Barrier Reef in northern
Australian. Flatback shells are wide with turned up
edges, covered by a thin fleshy skin. The colour is usually
yellow-grey or olive-grey, with the
underside a pale yellow. Flatbacks are
a medium-sized marine turtle.
Unlike other sea turtle species
flatbacks do not spend years out at
sea and remain in the surface waters
of the continental shelf. They prefer
inshore waters and bays where their
feeding ground is the shallow, softbottomed
seabed. While in the sea the turtles
spend much of their time at the surface
basking in the sun.
It lays fewer but larger eggs than other sea turtle species and their hatchlings are the largest of any turtle.
Adults measure up to one metre in length and weigh an average of 90 kg.
They eat seagrass, sea cucumbers, sea pens, jellyfish, molluscs, prawns, soft corals, other invertebrates and seaweed.
Flatback turtle eggs are eaten by
a range of predators, including sand goannas, foxes,
dogs and feral pigs.
Prefer turbid inshore waters, bays, coastal coral reef and grassy shallows. Their distribution is very limited. They are found only in the waters around Australia and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific.