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Leatherback Sea Turtle

Dermochelys coriacea
The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the world’s largest sea turtle.

Morphologically, the Leatherback Sea Turtle is quite different from other sea turtles in that its has a carapace of tough rubbery skin strengthened by bony plates. The carapace is usually black with white spots.

Because of the peculiar structure of its carapacem the Leatherback is classified as a unique family called Dermochelys. It is also unlike other sea turtles in having no claws or teeth.

The leatherback is found worldwide and has the largest north and south range of all the sea turtle species. It lives in the open ocean feeding on jellyfish, with females coming ashore 6 to 9 times once every 2 to 3 years to lay a total of around 110 eggs.


Prepared by: Turnbull, P.
Created: 3 November 2001
Modified: 1 December 2001

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000113

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