The coastal waters of Queensland are important breeding and feeding habitat for marine turtles. Six of the world’s seven marine turtle species are known from Queensland. Leatherback Turtles are seasonal visitors arriving in the waters of south-eastern Queensland in the late winter months. The other species (Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Flatback Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle) have resident feeding and breeding populations in Queensland.
These turtles are long-lived and take 30 to 50 years to reach breeding age. They have complicated life histories and show high levels of fidelity to both breeding and feeding areas.
All marine turtles have strong, paddle-shaped flippers, nostrils positioned high on the snout and a bony shell. In all species, except the Leatherback and Flatback Turtles, the shell is covered in large plates. Marine turtles, unlike freshwater turtles, pull their heads directly back (cryptodirous).
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