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Home > Turtles > Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback sea turtles are world’s largest living turtles and are the only extant species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermochelyidae. The carapace of the species lacks bony shell and instead is covered by oily flesh and skin which differentiates it from other modern turtles. The shell looks leathery and hence its name.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Testudines
    Suborder Cryptodira
    Family Dermochelyidae
    Genus Dermochelys
    Scientific Name Dermochelys coriacea


    Other Names Lute Turtle, Leathery Turtle
    Size 1.83–2.2 m
    Weight 250 – 700 kg
    Color Dark gray or black carapace with pale or white spots; whitish to black plastron
    Distribution Alaska, Norway, Cape Agulhas in Africa, southernmost region of New Zealand, all tropical and subtropical oceans, Arctic Circle
    Habitat Open ocean
    Diet Mainly jellyfish, also feed on tunicates and cephalopods
    Hibernation Fact Undergoes hibernation
    Predators Adults fall prey to sharks, killer whales whereas the eggs and young ones are eaten by fishes, dogs, seabirds, raccoons, ghost crabs, monitor lizards, coats,  coyotes, genets, mongooses
    Breeding Season April – November
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 65-115 eggs
    Incubation Period Around 60 days
    Reproductive Age 6 to 10 years of age
    Average Lifespan Around 45 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Leatherback Sea Turtle Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 4th 2016 by under Turtles. Article was last reviewed on 30th March 2017.

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