Sea turtles are ancient creatures—they’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs. There are seven species of sea turtles in the world, and they’re all at risk due to pollution and environmental change. One of the most endangered species is the hawksbill. Hawksbills get their name from their sharp, curved beaks, and they were hunted for their beautiful shells—another reason why they’re in trouble. But there’s a lot more to hawksbills than their looks.
Hawksbill turtles are omnivores that eat plants and animals; most of their diet is made up of sponges (which look like plants, but are actually animals). They also hunt jellyfish and Portugese men’o’war; the turtles shut their eyes when eating them to avoid getting stung!
Photo by Caroline S. Rogers, available through NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife Service