The leatherback sea turtle loot

Appearance and anatomy

An adult leatherback sea turtle in the middle reaches 1.5 — 2 meters in length, weighing in at 600 kg to form a massive figure.The rear — more than half as long, are used as controls. The claws on the limbs are absent. On a large head visible nostrils, small eyes and jagged edges of ramphotheca.

The carapace of the leatherback turtle has very different structure from other types. He separated from the skeleton of the animal and consists of small bony plates connected to each other. The largest of them form on the back of reptiles 7 longitudinal ridges. The lower, more vulnerable part of the shell is crossed by five such ridges. Horny scutes are absent, instead, in a mosaic manner are arranged bony plates, covered with a thick skin. Heart-shaped form of a carapace of males is more narrowed in the rear than in females.

The mouth of a leatherback turtle equipped with a hard outside Horny growths. In the upper jaw on each side has one large prong. The sharp edges of ramphotheca replace animal teeth.

Within the mouth of the reptile is covered in thorns, the ends of which are directed towards the pharynx. They are located across the surface of the esophagus, from the sky to the intestines. As teeth the leatherback turtle does not use them. The animal swallows its prey without chewing. The spikes do not allow victims to get out, while contributing to its advancement along the digestive tract.


Turtle loot can be found all over the world from Alaska to New Zealand. Reptiles live in the waters of Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. A few individuals were seen at the Kuril Islands, in the southern part of the Japan and Bering seas. Most of the life of a reptile in the water.

Know 3 major isolated populations:

  • Atlantic;
  • East Pacific;
  • in the Western Pacific.

In the breeding season, the animal can be caught on land at night. Reptiles characteristic of every 2-3 years to return to familiar places, to lay eggs.

On the banks of the Ceylon Islands leatherback turtle can be seen in may-June. From may to August, the animal gets to land on the Caribbean sea coast of the Malay Islands, from may to September.

Life leatherback turtle

Leatherback turtles are born no bigger than the palm of your hand. They can be recognized among others species description adult loot. The front flippers have only hatched individuals is longer than the entire body. Youth dwells in the upper layers of the ocean, feeding mainly on plankton. Matured animals can dive to a depth of 1500 m.

In the year thousand will gaining about 20 cm in height. Puberty individual reaches 20 years. The average life expectancy is 50 years.

Giant turtle supports round-the-clock activity, but only appears on the shore after dark. Lively and energetic under water, it is able to overcome the impressive distance and travels extensively throughout life.

Most of the activities of LUT dedicated to the production of food. The leatherback turtle has an increased appetite. The basis of the diet serve jellyfish, their loot absorbs on the go without sacrificing speed. Reptile is not averse to eat fish, shellfish, crustaceans, algae and small cephalopods.

An adult leatherback turtle looks impressive, wishing to turn her into lunch in the marine environment are rare. If necessary, she is able to fiercely defend themselves. The body structure does not allow the reptile to hide under the shell of the head. Nimble in the water animal flees or attacks an enemy with massive fins and a powerful jaw.

Loot lives apart from the other turtles. Ad hoc meetings with the male the female is sufficient to implement viable clutches for several years. The breeding period usually occurs in the spring. The pairing of the turtles is carried out in water. Animals do not form pairs and do not care about the fate of their offspring.

For laying eggs, leatherback turtle chooses a steep Bank, at the deep places, without the abundance of coral reefs. During the night high tides it is on the sandy beach and looking for a favorable place. Creeper prefers moist sand, out of reach of the surf. To protect against predators of eggs, she digs a pit depth of 100 — 120 cm.

Loot lays 30 to 130 eggs, in the form of balls with a diameter of 6 cm, the typical number is closer to 80-I. Approximately 75 % of them in 2 months split healthy kids turtles. After the last egg is lowered into the makeshift nest, the animal digs a hole and carefully tamp the sand on top to protect it from small predators.

Between the clutches of one individual takes about 10 days. Leatherback turtle lays eggs 3-4 times per year. Of the 10 young turtles to the water on statistics get four. Young reptiles do not eat away large birds and coastal inhabitants. While young people lacked the imposing size, it is vulnerable. Part of the survivors become prey for predators of the oceans. Therefore, when the high fecundity of the species, their numbers are not high.

Interesting facts

It is known that the differences between leatherback and other species of the detachment turtles originated in the Triassic period of the Mesozoic era. Evolution sent them in different rounds of development and loot only surviving representative of this branch. Therefore, interesting facts about loot are of great interest for research.

Leatherback turtle thrice entered the Guinness book of world records in the categories:

Capaha found on the West coast of Wales. Reptile with a length of 2.91 m and a width of 2.77 m weighed 916 kg. In the Fiji Islands, the leatherback turtle is a symbol of speed. Also animals are known for their great navigation features.

With an impressive body size, the metabolism of leatherback turtles is higher than that of other types of her weight class three times. Longer it can maintain body temperature above ambient. This contributes to the high animal appetite and subcutaneous fat layer.Feature allows the turtle to survive in cold water of 12 °C.

The leatherback turtle is active 24 hours a day. In its day mode stay is less than 1% of the time. Much of the activity necessary for hunting. Daily diet reptile is 75% of the weight of the animal.

Calorie daily diet the LUT may exceed necessary for life normal 7 times.

One of the factors of decline of turtles is the presence in marine waters, plastic bags. They seem to be reptiles like jellyfish. The absorbed waste not processed by the digestive system. Spikes-stalactites do not allow the turtle to spit out the packets, they accumulate in the stomach.

According Asoskova research center at the University of Massachusetts, lute — the migrating turtle. It travels thousands of miles between favorable for hunting regions and places of laying. Educated guesses of scientists, animals can Orient themselves in the magnetic field of the planet.

It is also known that turtles return to the shores of birth decades later.

In February 1862, the fishermen saw a leatherback turtle off the coast Forests near the mouth of the river Th. In the quest to get a rare trophy men attacked the reptile. The strength of six men was not enough to keep loot on the spot. LUT managed to sneak by them to the shoreline.

To save from extinction species in different countries create protected areas in places of nesting females. There are organizations, which are removed from the natural environment of masonry and placed in artificial incubators. Newborn turtles released into the sea under the supervision of a group of people.

Videos: leatherback turtles on the verge of extinction

The leatherback sea turtle loot
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