Leatherback Sea Turtle
Report on a reptile
Leatherback Sea Turtle Classification
I have chosen the Leatherback Sea Turtle for my report. They are called Leatherback Sea Turtles because of their tough, rubbery skin which is strengthened by little bones under the skin. This makes Leatherback Sea Turtles have a leather look & feel. It is classified into a family called the Dermochelydae. This family includess all species of sea turtles It is the biggest of this family on the earth today. Turtles that are included in this family are Hawsbill turtles, Green turtle and many more. The scientific name for Leatherback Sea Turtles is Dermochelys coriacea. These ancient turtles are also called the Iute turtles. I have always loved animals and to do reports on them. These migrating marine animals are found worldwide. Leatherbacks have leathery, spotted skin & are the 4th largest reptile behind the crocodilian family members. These turtles can grow to 1.3 - 2.7 metres or 4 - 9 feet. They will weigh about 660 - 1100 pounds or 300 - 500kg. Leatherback Sea Turtles are the largest species of turtle. Back where the female was, born 6 to 10 year old female turtle lays her eggs. I chose Leatherback Sea Turtles over any other reptile because they are bigger than other turtles, more graceful than snakes & more special than crocs.
Leatherback Sea Turtle Location
The Leatherback Sea Turtle is found in tropical and temperate seas. These turtles are in the Atlantic, Pacific & Indian oceans. Some places where they have been seen are Australia, Cape of Good Hope in South Africa & Argentina. They migrate from place to place. They live in saltwater. They are also seen in south New Zeland & Alaska. Because of migration, they are mainly found worldwide. They are not found in dams, creeks or rivers, they are found in the 'open' parts of the ocean. Some major nesting spots are on the beaches in Central America & Central Africa. They are also found in waters as far north as Canda where the water is quite cold, as cold as 6 degrees celsius. In Summer Leatherback Sea Turtles go to the west coast of Britain & Ireland in search of jellyfish. They are found further north than other species. They are found in waters under 6.1111111 degrees celsius or 43 degrees fahrenheit. No other reptilehas been in waters so cold & still be active. They cope with water by heating their blood by using their circulatory system. They migrate for food & nesting beaches. They are further north than any other sea turtles species. There are the turtle with the largest distribution (found in more places) than any any other any other turtle species.
Leatherback Sea Turtle Description
The Leatherback Sea Turtles are 4 - 9 feet long & can weigh up to 1100 pounds. They are mainly black topped with white & pink spots on their head, neck & on the top of their shell or carapace. The bottom half of the leatherback or plastron is mottled with pink, white & black. They have 2 cusps on either side of their upper jaw instead of teeth. When they were hatchlings they were 2 - 3 inches in length and had fore flippers as big as their body. Their fore flippers are bigger than other sea turtle's and are very powerful. That makes it easier swim in the ocean. Their the only sea turtle that lacks a hard shell. They have no scales except when they are hatchlings. There are no claws on their flippers. Hatchlings have white blotches on their carapace. The largest leatherback ever recorded was 10 feet in length & weighed 2019 pounds or 916kg. They swim through the water. There are 7 ridges running down the shell of the leatherback's as it's tapers to a blunt point at the rear. They dive deeper than any other sea turtle. They are barrel-shaped shaped. They have a shell so they can protect themselves but can not pull their heads and flippers in it. Their shell can also be smooth.
Leatherback Sea Turtle Dynamics
Leatherback Sea Turtle eat jellyfish. But also eat sea spurts & other soft-bodied animals. The female returns to the beach she was born & lays her eggs every 2 to 3 years. They lay their eggs in 5 to 7 clutches & in 9 to 10 intervals. In the USA & Caribbean, the leatherback nesting season lasts from March to July. The female lays 60 - 100 eggs but only 2 thirds of those eggs hatch. The hatchlings have to get to the ocean by themselves. They go underwater for 35 minutes at a maximum. They lay their eggs in tropical & subtropical beaches on countries such as Mexico, Florida & many more countries. Some turtles do not go to the beach they were born to lay their eggs. They don't really eat plants except for sea weed. They are mainly carnivorous but are omnivore.
Leatherback Sea Turtle Conclusion
Although the Leatherback Sea Turtle is found worldwide but are critically endangered. The main predators are ghost crabs, sharks, racoons & us, humans. They are caught in fishing nets, poached, affected by climate change & swallow plastic bags that are mistaken as jellyfish. We should never litter or poach these beautiful animals. The hatchlings are attracted to light so they are mistaken car headlight, house lights & lights from buildings as the moon. The hatchlings are eaten by predators. People harvest the eggs from the females nest! Can you believe these animals lived with the dinosaurs 200 million years ago. The leatherbacks that were born on the beaches near the Atlantic Ocean lay more eggs than the ones that were born on beaches near the Pacific Ocean. They have no teeth & can not put their heads & flippers in their shell. Leatherback Sea Turtles lay a number of false eggs on top of their nest. Male leatherbacks never leave the water, only females come ashore because the female needs to lay her eggs.