Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Leatherback Turtle

The leatherback turtle is the largest turtle in the world and can weigh up to 400 kg (880 lbs) and reach lengths up to 2.4 m (6 ft) long. The leatherback turtle gets this big in part by eating their favourite food - jellyfish, yum! They can eat their weight in jellyfish in a single day!  The leatherback turtle needs their strength though, since they swim distances up to 12,000 km and can dive up to 1200m - farther and deeper than any other turtle! The male leatherback turtle spends his entire live in the ocean while the female leatherback turtle comes to beaches to lay eggs - up to 100 at a time, called clutches.

Why the Leatherback Turtle Needs Our Help

The leatherback turtle is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, with estimates that only 30,000 remain. The leatherback turtle is endangered due to loss of nesting habitat, getting accidentally caught in fishing gear and drowning, getting hit by boats and ingesting plastic, which looks like jellyfish. Sources: IUCN: The Leatherback Turtle, Vancouver Aquarium, Aqua Facts: The Leatherback Turtle

 Save the Leatherback Turtle 

The leatherback turtle photo courtesy of:  RedJamJar