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Related to leatherbacks: Leatherback Sea Turtle


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 Their heads are too large to be withdrawn into the shell.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.



(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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Leatherbacks, which go back to the time of the dinosaurs, are the world's biggest turtle, growing as massive as 2,000 pounds and 6.
Caletas may no longer be considered as a secondary nesting beach, despite having registered nesting events regularly throughout the 2000s, as no leatherbacks nested there over three consecutive years (2012-2013 to 2014-2015) and the mean annual number of females over the last five years was lower than one turtle.
Normally, she said, the leatherback would lay 50 to 110 eggs and that it would take 45 to 70 days to hatch.
Leatherbacks primarily inhabit pelagic waters, make annual north-south migrations in the North Atlantic (Eckert, 1998; James et al.
Female leatherbacks lay clutches of about 100 eggs and typically nest several times during a nesting season.
The beach town of Grand Riviere in Trinidad is home to the globe's second largest leatherback nesting colony.
For years, successful conservation efforts have benefited leatherbacks in Trinidad, which outlawed the slaughter of the sea turtles in 1966.
London, July 2 ( ANI ): The 21st century could be the last for eastern Pacific populations of leatherback turtles, as rising heat at the beach continue to threaten the species, suggests a new study.
MCS biodiversity programme manager Dr Peter Richardson said the Atlantic appears to have become the last stronghold for the leatherback.
Specifically, I predicted that beach slope would be used by leatherbacks coming ashore as a cue for assessing nest site stability.
Even though the population may be past the point of recovery, we believed the community-based activities that would develop around the remnant leatherbacks would galvanize local conservation programs, benefiting other species that suffered from by-catch in near-shore waters.