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Wisdom Wednesday | Leatherback Sea Turtles

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 05/19/2021

The largest sea turtle, the Leatherback, can reach up to 2,200 pounds. Unlike other species of sea turtles, Leatherback turtles have a rubbery shell composed of cartilage-like tissues rather than a hard, bony shell. Leatherback turtles also live in waters of more of the world than any other sea turtle. They can be found in waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. These turtles are able to regulate their body temperatures to stay warm in cold waters. Their ability to generate and retain body heat along with their thick layer of fat and ability to change their swimming patterns helps them do so. Only female Leatherbacks go to shore to lay eggs. Males are only ever on the shores when they first hatch. The largest nesting site of Leatherback turtles is in Trinidad, with nearly 20,000 nests laid per year. Leatherback turtles have been seen feeding on plant material, but their preferred food is jellyfish and other gelatinous animals. Spikes in their mouths allow these sea turtles to trap prey without it escaping. These turtles dive deeper than any other sea turtle. They will dive to almost 4,000 feet to find prey.

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