Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtle
Scientific Name: Dermochelys coriacea
Common Name: Leatherback
Description: The Leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles, with weights of 1,300 lbs. and a carapace length of up to 8 feet. This turtle is unique because of the smooth leathery skin covering its carapace. The leatherback is one of the largest living reptiles, surpassed in size only by some species of crocodiles. Adults can be distinguished from all other species of sea turtles by their large size, spindle-shaped bodies, and leathery, unscaled carapaces. Research on captive turtles indicates that leatherbacks grow faster than any other marine turtle. Leatherbacks feed mainly on pelagic (open ocean) soft-bodied invertebrates such as jellyfish and tunicates. Their diet may also include squid, fish, crustaceans, algae, and floating seaweed. Highest concentrations of these prey animals are often found in areas where deep water comes to the surface (upwelling areas) and where ocean currents converge. Leatherbacks were listed as endangered 6/02/1970.

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