Leatherback Sea Turtles
Leatherback sea turtles are some of the most well known because leatherback sea turtles are the largest of all of the currently living turtles. Leatherback sea turtles are also interesting because they are the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. In addition, leatherback sea turtles are not often confused with any other species because leatherback sea turtles do not have the hard shell that every other species of turtle has.
Leatherback Sea Turtles Skin
The leatherback sea turtles have a leathery skin covering the carapace of the leatherback sea turtles. Under the leatherback sea turtles leathery skin is a mosaic of bony plates. When you combine all of these different features of the leatherback sea turtles it makes them an interesting species.
Leatherback Sea Turtles Composition
Leatherback sea turtles have the same body plan as other sea turtles. Leatherback sea turtles have a very large, flat, round body with two pairs of legs. Leatherback turtles also have a very large head and a short tail. The front limbs are very well adapted for swimming in the open ocean, allowing for them to move with great force and speed when necessary. The highly evolved flippers also allow for leatherback sea turtles to move against strong ocean currents when they need to. In addition to the well-defined appendages, the leatherback turtles also have a very large head and a short tail.
Leatherback Sea Turtles Size
Leatherback sea turtles follow the basic body plan of other sea turtles, except they are very large. In fact, just the flipper of full-grown leather back sea turtles can be as long as 270 centimeters in length! Leatherback sea turtles grow very large, usually measuring in at one to two meters long and leatherback sea turtles usually weigh in at 250 to 700 kilograms. The largest of the leatherback sea turtles on record was over three meters from head to tail and it weight more than 900 kilograms. This leatherback sea turtle as well as some of the largest leatherback sea turtles have been found on or near the beaches of Wales in the North Atlantic. Leatherback sea turtles are the fourth largest reptile, coming in just behind crocodiles.
Leatherback Sea Turtles Fastest Reptile on Record
Leatherback sea turtles might be the biggest of the sea turtles, but the size of the leatherback sea turtles does not slow them down. Leatherback sea turtles are known to be the deepest divers of all reptiles, as there have been leatherback sea turtles discovered at depths of more than 1,200 meters! The leatherback turtles are also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest reptile on record! Leatherback sea turtles have been cited swimming at 35.28 kilometers per hour!
Leatherback Sea Turtles Distribution
Leatherback sea turtles are also some of the most widespread of the sea turtle species. Leatherback sea turtles are found in most seawaters with the exception being the Arctic Ocean. In addition, Leatherback sea turtles are found as far north as Alaska and Norway and the leatherback sea turtles are also found as far south as the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and even the southern tip of New Zealand.