hawksbill turtle


hawks·​bill turtle ˈhȯks-ˌbil- How to pronounce hawksbill turtle (audio)
variants or hawksbill
: a small- to medium-sized sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) of warm waters that has a narrow hawk-like beak, an upper shell of overlapping horny plates, and usually two claws on each forelimb

Note: The hawksbill turtle feeds chiefly on sponges. Its mottled brownish upper shell was used especially formerly to produce tortoiseshell.

Illustration of hawksbill turtle

Illustration of hawksbill turtle

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Part of the conservation effort focuses on the endangered green and hawksbill turtle species that are native to the area. Julia Eskins, Travel + Leisure, 2 Apr. 2021 Along the way, meet locals like the Hawaiian hawksbill turtle and the wild nēnē (goose), and listen to the dawn chorus. New York Times, 24 Nov. 2020 Previous studies on hawksbill turtles already have helped Omani and Emirati officials begin rethinking boundaries of some marine protected areas. National Geographic, 16 June 2018 Open to people only from September to May, the island is the summer nesting site for migratory birds flying thousands of miles from the west coast of Africa and hawksbill turtles who lay their eggs on the unruffled sand. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hawksbill turtle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1712, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hawksbill turtle was in 1712

Dictionary Entries Near hawksbill turtle

Cite this Entry

“Hawksbill turtle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hawksbill%20turtle. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

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