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Australian Wildlife

  Leathery Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)





Leathery Sea Turtle | Dermochelys coriacea photo
Adult Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback Sea Turtle

Image by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



LEATHERY SEA TURTLE FACTS

Description
The Leathery Sea Turtle is endangered. Plastic bags in its ocean environment have contributed to many deaths as it mistakes them for jellyfish - its main food. It is a large turtle with streamlined leathery carapace (shell). The body is more pointed towards the year with seven ridges lengthwise along the back. The front flippers are very large. The body is dark grey or black.

Other Names
Leatherback Turtle, Leathery Turtle, Luth

Size
1.8m - 2.8m

Habitat
lives in the ocean. The female comes ashore only to lay eggs

Food
jellyfish and other soft-bodied swimming invertebrates.

Breeding
lays about 80 eggs

Range
found in all the oceans of the world from the arctic in the north to New Zealand in the south. Leathery Sea Turtles nest in the tropics. There are limited breeding areas on eastern Queensland - the nearest major breeding area to Australia is in Malaysia.

Notes
Plastic bags in the ocean are a hazard to these turtles, as they can mistake the floating bags for jellyfish.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "critically endangered".

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Dermochelyidae
Genus:Dermochelys
Species:coriacea
Common Name:Leathery Sea Turtle