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Creatures Of Intrigue- DIE!!!(might)

The LeatherbackTurtle

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Panthera pardus
Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Dermochelys coriacea
Gymnogyps californianus
Ursus maritimus

These extremely large turtles are seriously endangered...SAVE THE SEA TURTLES MAN!

Watch these turtles go!

Leatherback skeleton

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First Off: General Facts

* Family Dermochelyidae
* Largest and heaviest of living turtles
* Only living species of genus Dermochelys
* Differentiation from other turtles: lack of bony shell
* Bony carapace
* Carapace covered by skin and oily flesh
* Body plan:
* Large, dorsoventrally flattened, round body
* 2 pairs of appendages
* Very large head and a short tail
* Flattened forelimbs specially adapted for swimming in ocean
* Claws absent
* Front flippers- up to 270 cm in large specimens
* 2 m average in adults
* 250-700 kg
* Found in all tropical and subtropical oceans:
* Reaches as fas as Alaska and Norway
* Cape Of Good Hope, Africa
* Southernmost tip of New Zealand
* Arctic Circle
* Diet: almost entirely jellyfish
* Plays role in jellyfish populations
* Also feed on tunicates and cephalopods
* About 1 in 1,000 leatherbacks survives to adulthood
* Estimated worldwide population: 26,000 to 43,000 nesting females annually
* Can dive 4,035 feet (1,230 meters) below surface
* Deepest diving turtle
* Can stay underwater for up to 35 min.
* May live up to 45 yrs.

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Being Highly Endangered

Sea turtle egg harvesting are still practiced worldwide. The most significant factor for the leatherback's population decline is Asia's egg exploitation. Southeast Asia lead the population to a near-total-collapse of local nesting populations in like in Thailand and Malaysia because of the egg collecting. The eggs are considered a delicacy in Malaysia, where leatherbacks are locally extinct.

Another factor is pollution in the ocean. Leatherbacks as well as other sea turtles mistake plastics and balloons as jellyfish, their prey.

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Newly hatched batch of Leatherbacks

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A Leatherback visits...

Try out this INTERACTIVE SEA TURTLE QUIZ!

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DID YOU KNOW?!? The largest leatherback ever recorded was almost 10 feet (305 cm) from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail and weighed in at 2,019 pounds (916 kg)...wow, that's...HEAVY.