I Spent Hours Scuba Diving Photographing The Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtles
My name is Daniel Sasse, a marine conservationist, the owner of Poseidon Dive Center Ao Nang Thailand and an award-winning underwater photo and videographer. I have 25 years of experience in scuba diving, teaching and photographing wildlife. Protecting our oceans must be our priority since every second breath we take is produced by our oceans.
Adult hawksbill sea turtles typically grow to 1m (3ft) in length, weighing around 80kg (180lb) on average.
Its elongated, tapered head ends in a beak-like mouth (from which its common name is derived), and its beak is more sharply pronounced and hooked than others.
While they are omnivorous, sea sponges are their principal food; they constitute 70–95% of the turtles' diets. However, like many spongivores, they feed only on select species, ignoring many others.
The baby turtles, usually weighing less than 24g (0.85oz) hatch at night after around two months. These newly emergent hatchlings are dark-colored, with heart-shaped carapaces measuring around 2.5cm (0.98in) long. They instinctively crawl into the sea, attracted by the reflection of the moon on the water (possibly disrupted by light sources such as street lamps and lights). While they emerge under the cover of darkness, baby turtles that do not reach the water by daybreak are preyed upon by shorebirds, shore crabs, and other predators.