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Natator depressus (GARMAN, 1880)

IUCN Red List - Natator depressus - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaCheloniidae (Cheloniinae), Chelonioidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Flatback Turtle 
SynonymChelonia depressa GARMAN 1880: 124
Chelonia depressa — GARMAN 1908: 9
Natator tessellatus MCCULLOCH 1908
Natator depressus — ZANGERL et al. 1988
Natator depressus — COGGER 2000: 183
Natator depressus — BONIN et al 2006
Natator depressus — TTWG 2021 
DistributionE Indian Ocean, SW/WC Pacific Ocean,
coastal waters of the continental shelf off N/NE Australia (New South Wales)

Type locality: northern Australia  
Reproductionoviparous. Exhibits temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD) fide Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020 (and references therein). 
TypesLectotype: MCZ 4473, designated by LOVERIDGE 1934 (see also Barbour, T. 1914)
Holotype: AM R4158, from near Port Darwin, N. T. [tesselatus] 
CommentHabitat: marine.

Conservation status: data deficient

Type species: Natator tessellatus MCCULLOCH 1908 is the type species of the genus Natator MCCULLOCH 1908: 127. 
  • Bagarinao, Teodora U. 2011. The Sea Turtles Captured by Coastal Fisheries in the Northeastern Sulu Sea, Philippines: Documentation, Care, and Release. Herp. Cons. Biol. 6 (3) - get paper here
  • Barbour, T., 1914. On some Australasian reptiles. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 27: 201—206. - get paper here
  • Bonin, F., Devaux, B. & Dupré, A. 2006. Turtles of the World. English translation by P.C.H. Pritchard. Johns Hopkins University Press, 416 pp.
  • Bowen, B.W. & Karl, S.A. 2007. Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles. Molecular Ecology 16: 4886–4907 - get paper here
  • Chatterji, Ray M; Mark N Hutchinson, Marc E H Jones 2020. Redescription of the skull of the Australian flatback sea turtle, Natator depressus, provides new morphological evidence for phylogenetic relationships among sea turtles (Chelonioidea). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, , zlaa071, - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Cornejo-Páramo, P., Lira-Noriega, A., Ramírez-Suástegui, C. et al. 2020. Sex determination systems in reptiles are related to ambient temperature but not to the level of climatic fluctuation. BMC Evol Biol 20: 103 - get paper here
  • Duchene, Sebastián; Amy Frey, Alonzo Alfaro-Núñez, Peter H. Dutton, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Phillip A. Morin 2012. Marine turtle mitogenome phylogenetics and evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65 (1): 241-250 - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Garman, Samuel 1908. The Reptiles of Easter Island. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 52 (1): 3-13 (+1 plate) - get paper here
  • Garman,S. 1880. On certain species of Chelonioidae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 6: 123-126 - get paper here
  • Hewavisenthi, S. & C.J. Parmenter 2001. Influence of Incubation Environment on the Development of the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus) Copeia 2001 (3): 668-682. - get paper here
  • Hewavisenthi, S. & C.J. Parmenter 2002. Egg Components and Utilization of Yolk Lipids during Development of the Flatback Turtle Natator depressus Journal of Herpetology 36 (1): 43-50. - get paper here
  • Hewavisenthi, S. & C.J. Parmenter 2002. Incubation Environment and Nest Success of the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus) from a natural nesting Beach Copeia 2002 (2): 302-312. - get paper here
  • Ikonomopoulou, Maria P.; Mary Hodge, and Joan M. Whittier 2012. An Investigation of Organochlorine and Polychlorobiphenyl Concentrations in the Blood and Eggs of the Carnivorous Flatback Turtle, Natator depressus, from Queensland, Australia. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2012, Vol. 11, No. 2: 255-259. - get paper here
  • IRSCHICK, DUNCAN J. et al. 2020. Creating 3D Models of Several Sea Turtle Species as Digital Voucher Specimens Herpetological Review 51: 709–715
  • Koch, A.U., M.L. Guinea & S.D. Whiting 2008. Asynchronous Emergence of Flatback Seaturtles, Natator depressus, from a Beach Hatchery in Northern Australia Journal of Herpetology 42 (1): 1-8. - get paper here
  • Limpus, Colin J., Emma Gyuris and Jeffrey D. Miller, 1988. Reassessment of the taxonomic status of the sea turtle genus Natator, with a description of the genus and species. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 112 (1):1-9 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1934. Australian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 77: 243-383 - get paper here
  • Martín-del-Campo, Rodolfo and Alejandra García-Gasca 2019. Sea turtles: ancient creatures, mysteries, adaptations, and threatens. Research in Marine Sciences 4 (3): 556 - 562 - get paper here
  • McCord, W.P. & Joseph-Ouni, M. 2003. Chelonian Illustrations #8. Sea turtles of the world. Reptilia (GB) (28): 34-38 - get paper here
  • McCulloch, A. R. 1908. A new genus and species of turtle from north Australia. Rec. Austral. Mus. 7: 126-128 - get paper here
  • Myers, T. 2007. Osteological Morphometrics of Australian Chelonioid Turtles. Zoological Science 24: 1012–1027 - get paper here
  • Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Minh Le, Nancy N. FitzSimmons and George Amato 2008. Evolutionary relationships of marine turtles: A molecular phylogeny based on nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (2): 659-662 - get paper here
  • Parmenter, C.J. & C.J. Limpus 1995. Female Recruitment, Reproductive Longevity and Inferred Hatchling Survivorship for the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus) at a Major Eastern Australian Rookery Copeia 1995 (2): 474-477. - get paper here
  • Sim, Elizabeth L.; David T. Booth, and Colin J. Limpus 2014. Non-modal Scute Patterns, Morphology, and Locomotor Performance of Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Flatback (Natator depressus) Turtle Hatchlings. Copeia 2014 (1): 63–69 - get paper here
  • Sim, Elizabeth L.; David T. Booth, Colin J. Limpus, and Michael L. Guinea 2014. A Comparison of Hatchling Locomotor Performance and Scute Pattern Variation between Two Rookeries of the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus). Copeia Jun 2014, Vol. 2014, No. 2: 339-344 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Theissinger, K.; FitzSimmons, N.N.; Limpus, C.J.; Parmenter, C.J. & Phillott, A.D. 2009. Mating system, multiple paternity and effective population size in the endemic flatback turtle (Natator depressus) in Australia. Conservation Genetics 10:329–346 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
  • Wallace, Bryan P.; Andrew D. DiMatteo, Alan B. Bolten, Milani Y. Chaloupka, Brian J. Hutchinson, F. Alberto Abreu-Grobois, Jeanne A. Mortimer, Jeffrey A. Seminoff, Diego Amorocho, Karen A. Bjorndal, Jérôme Bourjea, Brian W. Bowen, Raquel Briseño Dueñ 2011. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles. PLoS One 6 (9): e24510. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024510 - get paper here
  • Wallace, Bryan P.; Peter H. Dutton, Maria Angela Marcovaldi, Vimoksalehi Lukoschek, Jake Rice 2016. Chapter 39. Marine Reptiles, in: The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment. United Nations, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea - get paper here
  • Williams, E.E., Grandison, A.G.C. Grandison, & Carr,A.F. 1967. Chelonia depressa GARMAN re-investigated. Breviora (271): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Zangerl, R., L.P. Hendrickson and J.R. Hendrickson 1988. A redescription of the Australian Flatback Sea Turtle Natator depressus. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 1: 1-69.
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