23 Interesting Facts about Leatherback Sea Turtle (with Pictures)

Leatherback sea turtle facts

Leatherback sea turtles have the largest size amongst the sea turtles. Image source: Biologicaldiversity.org

23 Interesting Facts about Leatherback Sea Turtle (with Pictures)

This post presents some interesting facts about the leatherback sea turtle you may not have heard about; it also includes pictures to make learning about this amazing animal really fun.

Read on ….

Leather sea turtle is from the kingdom of animalia, from the family of Dermochelyidae and genus of Dermochelys.

This turtle is also called Lute turtle or Leathery turtle with the scientific name Dermochelys coriacea.

The leathery turtle are the only surviving member in the family of Dermcelyidae and also among the genuses.

Leatherback sea turtles have some fascinating features/characteristics; the following are 23 cool and interesting facts about the sea turtle you will find fun too;

1. Leatherbacks are the largest in size of the sea turtles, weighing between 250 to 700kg with the length of 6 to 7 feet and are said to be the fourth largest among reptiles.

2. The name leatherback was gotten from the texture of the shell which does not have the usual bony surface found in other turtles, rather the shell is versatile and lined in a very skinny layer of tough skin, making leatherbacks the only turtle without a hard shell.

3. The colors found on this turtle are white and pink spots; this specie of reptile can simply be identified by the seven narrow ridges running through the length of the shell and by their notably giant front flippers.

4. The female leathery turtle also has a feature ‘pink spot’ on the peak of their heads.

5. Leatherback turtle use their right and left flippers at an equivalent time to crawl up to the sea; they also have tail marks.

6. They have been acknowledged to be the fastest moving reptile in the sea, moving at the range of 32.28 km/hour.

7. What do leatherback sea turtles eat? Most often, leatherbacks are referred to as galatinivores because their food consists mainly on invertebrate like jellyfish, though they equally feed on other soft bodied animals.

Leatherback sea turtle, the only turtle without a hard shell

Leatherback sea turtles don’t have the common hard carapace of other sea turtles.

8. This turtle prefers moving alone apart from occasionally assembling at feeding regions where there are plenty of jellyfish to eat.

9. Leatherback sea turtles have jaws that look like scissors, this makes them glue to feeding on soft diet in order not to damage their jaw.

10. Where do leatherback sea turtles live? The leathery sea turtle can be found in all oceans throughout the world, traveling over three thousand miles to get to their nesting beaches.

11. This animal breathe through their lungs just like humans, but can stay underneath water for up to 3 hours before coming up for air.

12. How long do leatherback sea turtles live? They can live within the range of 30 to 80 years; since they spend most of their life in the water habitat, it is difficult to determine their lifespan.

13. Their eyes are not well developed to see clearly on the land at night.

14. The female leathery turtles lay streams of eggs, approximately between 100 and 150 in a nesting season usually at 8 – 12 days period. They return every two to three years for another season of nesting.

15. The male leathery wanders around offshore, across the general nesting beach before the nesting period begins and will endeavor to mate with as many female turtles as possible; this it does every season.

16. Leatherback sea turtles mate in the water after which the female swims ashore during the night to deposit the clutch of eggs; greater percentage of eggs are usually without yoke as a result will not develop.

17. When the process of laying of eggs is completed the female leather will cover the nest with sand in order to preserve the eggs and also to warm them up, after which she swims back into the ocean.

18. The baby leatherbacks after been hatched begins their journey to the ocean in the night because they want to avoid being preyed on, yet 2/3 of the hatchlings does not survive to adulthood because of different challenges they face, one of which is predators. The male counterpart doesn’t return to land again but the female does during the time of nesting.

19. As cold blooded animal, their temperature is expected to be the same as the temperature of the water but it has been observed that they still survive at below 430F

Leatherback sea turtle hatchlings

Leatherback sea turtles: hatchlings moving to the sea. Image source: Worldwildlife.org

20. Based on their giant size and the unique feature of their circulatory system, as well as the presence of a solid protective layer of oils and fats in their skin, this turtle is capable of maintaining body heat and could survive in much cooler water atmosphere than other sea turtles.

21. This turtle has different predators to escape from, including shark and man who feed on their eggs, meats, and oil.

22. The temperature of their nest will decide the sex of the baby leatherback; when the eggs hatch at 28.750C or less the hatchling will be male, but at above 29.750C the hatchling will likely turn female; baby hatchlings weigh between 35 – 50 grams.

23. This reptile grows very fast in fact, it can be said that it is among the fastest growing reptiles in the world, attaining adult size at 7 – 13 years.

Do you have additional facts about the leatherback sea turtle to share? If you do, please, share them in the comment box below.