Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys Coriacea)
There are seven different species of sea turtles all over the world. The one I will be discussing here is the leatherback turtle which is the largest and most interesting species of sea turtles. They belong in the Kingdom of Animilia. Unlike most other sea turtles, leatherbacks have a softer, more rubber-like shell. Their shell is what keeps them off of most dinner tables because they have a particularly oily taste. A leatherback shell is usually black and has white or yellow spots with stripes leading down their back.
Leatherback Turtles grow up to seven feet long and can exceed 2,000 pounds and they can live up to 45 years. Their phylum is chordata which means at some stage of development a dorsal nerve cord, a notochord, and gill slits exist. Leatherbacks inhabit pretty much every zone of the ocean besides the abyss because they travel from the north all the way down to the south. These turtles can stand dramatic temperature changes due to their body’s ability to retain heat allowing them to venture from the Northern shores of Canada all the way down to the Southern shores of South Africa. Leatherbacks can submerge themselves for several hours if they are not stressed. If they do become stressed and cannot breathe, they can drown which often happens if they get caught in commercial fishing nets.
A turtle’s favorite food is jellyfish although they eat pretty much anything they can catch. For example, they eat mollusks, squid, and sea urchins along with any other sea creature they can get their mouth on. They can eat almost two times their body weight each day. As eggs, raccoons, foxes, and other mammals dig up the eggs for a nice snack. Once they hatch and head out to sea, birds and large fish eat the hatchlings. But, as a grown adult, the only predator a sea turtle has to worry about is a shark.
Female turtles are the only ones to ever leave the ocean in order to lay her eggs. She lays approximately 100...
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