We love leatherback sea turtles and are SO happy to hear that scientists are seeing a record number of hatchlings due to Covid-19, with unpopulated beaches and less plastic pollution!
These gentle giants are:
🐢 the largest sea turtle on Earth at up to 7ft/2m
🐢 weighing several hundred pounds/kg
🐢 averaging 45 years of age (if reaching adulthood)
🐢 habitants of the entire ocean (exception from the poles)
🐢 carnivores, eating mainly jellyfish (and unfortunately plastic)
Also, the fact that they have been around for 100 million years makes them extra AWESOME!
Despite the good news of increased hatchings in the first few months of 2020, they are on the IUCN endangered list as only 1/1000 hatchlings survive to adulthood. This is mainly due to human activity such as poaching, fishing line injuries, boat collisions and indigestion of plastic debris.
The leatherback turtles are resilient, so let’s look after their habitats to make sure that they will survive for another 100 million years!
Other awesome facts about Leatherbacks
- During feeding season, leatherbacks eat hundreds of pounds of jellyfish a day
- Once they first head to sea, male leatherbacks never return to land
- Leatherbacks excrete excess salt (from their jellyfish diet) in tears
- A female leatherback lays hundreds of eggs in multiple places each nesting season
- Leatherbacks can stay underwater for up to 85 minutes
- Leatherbacks can keep themselves warm in water close to freezing
- The largest leatherback ever found was a 8.5 foot (2.5m) long male weighing 2,020 pounds (916kg)
- Leatherbacks have been documented diving deeper than 4,000 feet (1,200 meters). Compared to a typical diver descent of about 100 feet (30 meters)
- Pacific leatherback is the fastest aquatic reptile and can reach speeds of 22 miles (35km/h) an hour