Unlike a number of other turtles which can be found, the leatherback has a soft shell, which is where the name originates. The shell consists of tiny bones, which are covered with a rubbery hard skin providing the leathery structure. The adults are mainly brownish or black with pale markings on their body.
Young leatherback turtles have white marks on their flippers. Generally, you will find this variety of turtles in warmer seas, in which they spend most part of their existence. It is well-known, that they can dive as deep as 4,200 feet. Really impressive diving capability.
Female turtle will crawl to sand shores in order to dig a hole for eggs. It is the only occasion, that these types of turtles come on dry land. Females lay down up to 80 eggs, and then protect them with fine sand and return to the water. After two months hatchlings make their way to the sea.
There are over 30,000 nesting females around the world, nevertheless, just one in a 1000 turtles mature to the adult years. A combination of the loss of suitable nesting habitat and egg poaching has resulted in a decrease in numbers. Many turtles die every year, when eating plastic trash floating in the oceans.
Leatherback sea turtles look in coastal areas for food. They can move very long distances if endangered, or when searching for new feeding areas. Often, you will discover these turtles from Norway to New Zealand. It is easy to find them in Pacific ocean as well as Atlantic ocean. In truth, there are few oceans in which the leatherback sea turtle can’t be encountered.
Turtle eggs are considered as a delicacy in a lot of countries around the world. In Malaysia and many parts of the Caribbeans, eggs are considered to be an aphrodisiac. Even though the act of hurting and injuring leatherback sea turtles is against the law, this doesn’t stop everyone. Turtle, that’s living for longer than 100 million years, is now in danger of extinction.
Leatherback sea turtles are hunted for meat, trapped in fisherman’s nets and pushed away from their own nesting grounds. This has contributed to an incredible decrease in numbers, and in the early 70’s the leatherback turtle ended on the endangered list of turtles. Quite a few turtles have their own life cut short way before these turtles reach the avarage age.