Monday, July 30, 2007

Leatherback turtle fact sheet

Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback turtle 

This is the biggest turtle species in the world. Leatherback turtles can dive as deep as 1000 m. They are distributed all over the world in tropical, subtropical and temperate oceans, but can also be found in cooler waters (down to 0.4°C). They have a very good thermo-regulation system and can maintain temperatures of  up to 20°C greather than their surroundings. the ocean currents. Leatherback turtles make the longest migrations of all marine vertebrates. They travel from tropical and subtropical waters to feeding grounds in temperate and cold waters of both hemispheres. Young individuals live in pelagic warm water until reaching a size of 100 - 140 cm. The females of the Atlantic enter the beaches on the northern coast of South America (Surinam and Frensh Guyana) to lay their eggs in 1 m deep holes.

Individuals seen in the Azores are normally on a journey between the Carribean and the Iberian Peninsula or the Bay of Biscay.

• Total:  Up to 300 cm
• Carapace: 257 cm

Weight: Up to 900 kg

Global population: c.26,000 -  42,000

Status: Critically endangered

Diet: The leatherback turtle is omnivorous and feeds mainly on medusas such as jellyfish and cephalopods (squid and octopus)

Longevity: 305 years

Breeding age: c.130 - 180 cm

Number of eggs: c.50-150

Incubation: 2 months

In other languages:
Portuguese: Tartaruga de couro
Spanish: Tortuga laúd
French: Tortue luth
Italian: Tartaruga liuto
German: Lederschildkröte
Dutch: Lederschildpad
Swedish: Havslädersköldpadda
Norwegian: Havlærskilpadden
Danish: Læderskildpadde
Finnish: Merinahkakilpikonna

Polish: Żółw skórzasty

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