Leatherback turtles are the largest turtles on earth. These turtles can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh over 2,000 pounds. The leatherback turtle was once found in every ocean except for the Arctic and Antarctic. However, leatherbacks are currently classified as endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. In addition, Leatherback turtles can also be found in the Mediterranean Sea. Interestingly, these turtles can dive deeper than any other turtle. They can dive to depths of 4,200 feet under water. These turtles can live up to an estimate 45 years in the wild.
A leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a type of sea turtle that typically lives in temperate waters. They have been found off the coasts of Canada, South Africa, Norway, Argentina and Britain. During the nesting season, they will travel to locations like Costa Rica, West Africa, Florida, and Suriname. Leatherback sea turtles may lay up to 170 eggs. Typically, about half of them survive to be hatchlings. After that, the baby turtles have to fend for themselves for food and protection. They are fully grown when they reach 7-13 years of age, and sexual maturity is reached at age 13, on average. According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology as of 2007, 70%-80% of the species may have died in the last decade. The species is endangered on the U.S. Federal List and critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
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