About leatherback turtles
- The leatherback is the largest sea turtle, reaching up to nearly two metres (6.5 feet) in length and 540kg (1190 pounds) in weight.
- Unlike other sea turtles, the leatherback does not have a hard shell. Its shell is made-up of a mosaic of small bones covered by firm, rubbery skin with seven longitudinal ridges.
- Leatherbacks are the most widely spread marine turtles, and are found in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, particularly in tropical regions.
- Leatherbacks are the deepest diving of all sea turtles. The deepest recorded dive is 1.2 kilometres (3/4 mile), which is slightly more than the deepest known dive of a sperm whale.
- As with other reptiles, the sex of leatherbacks is determined by the temperature of eggs during incubation. With leatherbacks, temperatures above 29 degrees centigrade (84 degrees Fahrenheit) will result in female hatchlings.
- Leatherbacks are strong swimmers and tagged individuals have been known to cross ocean basins and are known to travel many thousands of kilometres in search of their jellyfish prey.