Sea Turtle – Leatherback

Sea Turtle – Leatherback

The Leatherback looks quite different from other species of sea turtle because it does not have a hard carapace like other sea turtles; it is instead covered by a grey/black layer of flexible and leathery skin. Its paddle-shaped front flippers do not have claws and are also extremely long, much longer than those of other sea turtles. Leatherbacks also differ from other sea turtles by lacking the strong crushing jaws needed to crack open hard-shelled prey. Instead they have sharp-edged jaws that they use to catch and bite soft-bodied prey. The throat of the Leatherback has many short, backward-pointing spines that stop jellyfish from escaping once they have been swallowed. Leatherbacks are found in colder waters than other sea turtles because they can keep their bodies warmer than the surrounding water. They spend most of their time in open waters; they come closer to shore to feed. It is also the deepest diving sea turtle; it can dive to depths of over 1,000 meters and can stay down for about an hour and a half.

STATUS
 Critically Endangered
SCIENTIFIC NAME
 Dermochelys coriacea
SIZE 1.5 meters
WEIGHT 250 to 500 kilos
HABITAT Open water, coastal waters to feed
DIET Mostly jellyfish and other soft-bodied prey. Some small invertebrates, fish and floating seaweed.

 

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Posted on

November 28, 2016