Hawksbills are From Jupiter


A stunning hawksbill turtle poses for me during a dive off the coast of Jupiter, FL. Tragically, these beautiful creatures are critically endangered primarily due to illegal trade of their shells. As such, it is always a blessing to see one on any dive. Additionally, most sea turtles are quite skittish and tend to keep their distance from divers, so I felt extremely fortunate that this hawksbill tolerated me only inches away to take this photo.

Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) are named for their narrow, pointed beak. They also have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated-look on the edges. These colored and patterned shells make them highly-valuable and commonly sold as “tortoiseshell” in markets.