Posted by admin | 10.29.2014 | Marine Science

Leatherback turtle


Common name: Leatherback turtle

Scientific name: Dermochelys coriacea

Distribution: All oceans, sub-arctic to tropical waters

Nests on: Tropical beaches

Beach type: Wide beaches with steep slope, rock free deep water approach. In India, nests in the Andaman and Nicobar islands mainly. Main nesting sites are Galathea on the east coast and several beaches in the west coast of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Little Andaman Islands.

Weight (adult): 500 kg +

Carapace length: 140 – 170 cm

Carapace shape: Elongate and tapering with seven prominent dorsal ridges;

scutes always absent.

Colouration: Mostly black with white spotting;

pink or bluish pots on base of neck and flippers.

Costal scutes: Absent

Head shape: Triangular; two maxillary cusps (tooth-like notch on either side of upper jaw).

Prefrontal scales: None

Limbs: Forelimbs extremely long

Plastron: Relatively small and distensible with 5 longitudinal ridges.

Time of nesting: Night

Clutches per season: 4 – 6

Clutch size: 80 – 100

Egg size: ~ 5 cm in diameter

Re-nesting interval: 9 – 10 days

Re-migration interval: 2 – 3 years

Track: 150 – 200 cm wide, deep and broad, with symmetrical diagonal marks made by forelimbs, usually with a deep median groove from the long tail.