leatherback


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leatherback,

marine turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters around the world. The largest of all turtles, it may reach a length of 7 1-2 ft (230 cm) and weigh 1200 lb (540 kg). Its shell, unlike that of most turtles, has no horny layer; the bone layer is covered with tough, leathery, black skin. Seven bony ridges running the length of the shell give this turtle its distinctive appearance. Highly pelagic turtles, leatherbacks have occasionally been seen as far N as Norway and as far S as New Zealand. They sometimes enter shallow coastal waters, but come ashore only to lay eggs. They are omnivorous feeders. Like other sea turtlessea turtle,
name for several species of large marine turtles found in tropical and subtropical oceans. These turtles are modified for life in the ocean by having flipperlike forelimbs without toes and lightweight shells. Their heads are too large to be withdrawn into the shell.
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, the leatherback is declining in numbers as a result of hunting and egg harvesting. It is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Chelonia, family Dermochelidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leatherback

 

(Dermochelys coriácea), a reptile of the order Chelonioidea (sea turtles). It is the largest of all modern turtles, measuring up to 2 m long and weighing up to 600 kg. The extremities are in the form of flippers. The carapace consists of several hundred tiny bony plates not connected to the spine and ribs.

The leatherback is found in all tropical seas, although it sometimes swims into waters of the temperate and even northern latitudes. It has been caught twice in the waters of the USSR, near the southern shores of Primor’e Krai and in the Bering Sea. The leatherback feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and algae.

It comes ashore only during the mating season. The female lays 95–150 spherical eggs (about 5 cm in diameter) in the sand. The meat of the leatherback is edible, although there have been cases of poisoning. The numbers of leatherbacks are rapidly diminishing.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Professor Godley said this leatherback probably comes from a breeding location in the Caribbean or French Guiana.
According to Maritime Review, Leatherback turtles are the world's largest turtles and the population is rapidly declining due to poachers.
Leatherback turtle populations in the Pacific could face a 96% decline by 2040, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and leatherbacks are a priority species for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Leatherback turtle populations in the Pacific could face a 96 percent decline by 2040, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and leatherbacks are a priority species for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to WWF, leatherback sea turtles are one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
As a first step toward characterizing the complete nesting distribution in Costa Rica, we conducted a workshop in March 2013 to identify sites where leatherback turtles nested outside PNMB.
KARACHI -- Another rare Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) which accidently enmeshed in fishing net at Gwadar was released under supervision of WWFPakistan staff.
It was the first leatherback of the night, and Isabella touched Billy's arm.
Boca Raton, FL, December 17, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Leatherback Bearded Dragons make great reptile pets, their gentle nature makes them a great pet for the family and their set up is relatively simple.
Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is listed as Vulnerable on the UICN red list [25] and is the second most common chelonian migratory species in the Mediterranean, where nesting beaches do not exist [26].