Go Diving and Swimming with Leatherback Sea Turtles

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As the most important and the oldest of the world’s seven present sea turtle species, the leatherback sea turtle represents a sought-after marine species for water sport fanatics. Many individuals need to go diving and swimming with leatherback sea turtles. Maybe that’s due to its accolades or as a result of it's comparatively uncommon to seek out, however, for probably the most half, scuba divers and snorkelers take pleasure in seeing the leatherback as a result of it’s one superior animal.

Do you know that the leatherback has a mouth and throat filled with spines? It actually seems like one thing out of a horror film, however these instruments are literally used to eat jellyfish! As well as, whereas most leatherbacks are about 5 ft lengthy, the most important sea turtle ever recorded was a whopping 10 ft in size. Might you think about coming throughout that sea turtle roaming round a coral reef?

Should you’re in love with sea turtles, hold studying. We've got put collectively some info and curiosities about leatherbacks so as to encourage others to guard these superb animals.

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Dermochelys coriacea

The leatherback sea turtle, also called the trunk again turtle, is the most important of the ocean turtles. Actually, these turtles can attain 6.5 ft (2m) in size and a weight of two,000 lbs (900 kg). Nevertheless, the Pacific leatherbacks are greater than the Atlantic leatherback sea turtles.

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Photograph credit score: Alessandra Sulis

Leatherback Sea Turtle Details

  • Identify: In contrast to different marine turtles, the carapace of the leatherback has no bony scales. As an alternative, it has cartilage strengthened by a mosaic of hundreds of small bones. As well as, the turtle’s carapace is roofed with pores and skin and is crossed by seven longitudinal hulls.
  • Weight-reduction plan: The leatherback feeds primarily on jellyfish and gelatinous animals, consuming as much as twice their very own physique weight in prey per day.
  • Migration: This reptile is a robust swimmer and may journey very lengthy distances. The longest distance recorded was from an grownup feminine that had been tracked to find out her migration. She moved from Indonesia to Oregon, a complete of 12,000 miles (19,000 km) – one of many longest migrations ever recorded!
  • Habitat: The leatherback is a cosmopolitan species, which might be present in all of the world’s waters. It prefers to eat in cooler areas (Alaska, South Africa, New Zealand, and so on.) and breed and lay eggs in heat areas (Mexico, Costa Rica, and so on.). It will probably stand up to low temperatures because of the excessive oil content material of its physique and its nice measurement (this thermoregulatory adaptation is known as “gigantothermy”).
  • Threats: The leatherback inhabitants is beneath critical menace because of the non-selective fishing (bycatch), fishing nets, air pollution and habitat deterioration. Typically the turtles eat plastic luggage, which they confuse with jellyfish. This could result in demise, so please take care to not throw plastic within the water.
  • Present inhabitants development: Reducing.
  • Standing: Vulnerable.

Q&A About Leatherback Sea Turtles

The place can I'm going diving and swimming with leatherback sea turtles?

For this query, we now have created a list of the 10 best places to dive and swim with sea turtles!

How lengthy can a leatherback sea turtle maintain its breath?

Leatherback sea turtles can dive as much as 1,200 meters and maintain their breath for as much as 85 minutes. That is thanks partially to its elastic carapace and plate and partially to its capability for storing a considerable amount of oxygen in its blood and tissue.

Will a leatherback sea turtle nest greater than annually?

Breeding takes place in several seasons, relying on geographic location. The feminine nests each two to 3 years.

The place do leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs?

The main nesting websites for leatherbacks are situated on the japanese shores of the Pacific (from Mexico to Panama) and in Southeast Asia, West Africa, Florida, Costa Rica, Colombia and French Guiana.

What number of eggs do leatherbacks deposit into one nest?

Females lay 60 to 100 eggs, depositing eggs as much as 12 occasions in the identical breeding season. The eggs are large, with an approximate measurement of two desk tennis balls. That is virtually double in measurement in comparison with different sea turtle species.

How lengthy does it take for leatherback sea turtle eggs to hatch?

The eggs hatch after 50 to 70 days.

How can I see a leatherback sea turtle nesting or the infants heading to the ocean?

You need to undergo critical, eco-friendly operators. Check out our top 10 list for more info.

Sea Turtle Saviors

Luckily, there are associations that work to save lots of these animals via analysis, schooling, coaching and habitat safety.

For additional info check out: Hepca, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Olive Ridley Project, See Turtles, Sea Turtle Inc., Sea Turtle Preservation Society and The Leatherback Trust.


This text was written by Mario Passoni. Particular because of Alessandra Sulis from Centro Recupero Tartarughe e Cetacei Laguna di Nora.

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