The flatback turtle is named after its flat carapace, or shell, which is unlike the curved shell of other sea turtle species. The carapace is pale grayish-green in color with the outer margins distinctly upturned. An adult flatback weighs 200 pounds and is approximately 3 feet in length. They have the smallest distribution of all the species and breed and nest only in Australia.
In comparison to other sea turtle species that lay 100-200 eggs per nest, the flatback turtles species lays an average of 50 per nest. Their eggs and hatchlings however, are proportionally larger than other species, which may aid hatchlings in evading predators.
The flatback is an omnivore, feeding on a variety of prey including sea cucumbers, jellies, soft corals, shrimp, crabs, molluscs, fish, and seaweed. Learn more about their diet.
They are listed as Vulnerable under the Australian Commonwealth’s Endangered Species Protection Act. They are listed as data deficient by the IUCN Red List.
Their scientific name is Natator depressus.