The Leatherback Sea Turtle
The world is full of turtles. There are seven kinds of turtles species in the world name are Sea Turtles, Snapping Turtles, Pond Turtles, Mud or Musk Turtles, Tortoises, Soft shell Turtles and the Leatherback Turtle. From these leatherbacks Sea Turtles are the largest specie, they have the broadest range of any sea turtle and can be found in the tropical and temperate waters of the world’s oceans. They can be found swimming the waters of the world no matter if the waters are warm or cold. Their jaws lack strength so feed mostly on jellyfish. They can weigh nearly two thousand pounds, they were here way before the first dinosaur, survived the greatest mass extinction the world has ever experienced, and flourished.
Leatherback sea turtles are circumglobal species because they can be found in any parts of the oceans. Their capabilities to swim as fast as 22 miles per hour and can manage body heat even at colder region makes them travel around the globe. This nature of leatherback sea turtle to keep its temperature warmer even at colder water is because of their ability to turnoff blood flow away from its flippers.
Base on studies male leatherback sea turtles once struggles inside the egg during hatching period and makes its way to the sea as a 4 inch (10cm) hatchling, they may never come back to the shore they were hatch during its lifetime. Although a female can lie as much as 100-150 eggs the vulnerability of its hatchling is tolled. Predators like raccoons, seabirds, sharks and large species of fish loves to eat a hatchling crunchy and delicious. That even human beings are tempted to do so.
Their population is endangered that base on survey there are 100,000 leatherback sea turtles during the 80’s. In Mexico there were about 6,500 plus nesting ground but as of 1993 only 50 nesting left. The increase number of human population endangered most species that habitat on sea shore. More humans become sea turtle predator. They wait until the female laid their eggs and after witch dug on and sale or even use it for their diet. The worst thing is some humans even capture the female leatherback turtle and export their parts to countries that have a traditional soup where main ingredient is the parts of the sea turtle. In some areas some people manage to get 100% of the laid eggs. Not even left a group of 5 or 10 just to let them survive and breed in the near future. Those numbers of eggs is a great number but the vulnerability of its hatchling will give them 20% chances of survival. Increase number of beaches disturbed the nesting / breeding process of sea turtles. Their habitat becomes extremely over-crowded and it forces them to find a new place to hatch and end up with even worst country like Japan. Where approximately exporting about 1.5 million shells of sea turtles. Some are raising them inland and harvest them the essence of wildlife has come to an end.
Some important facts about the Leatherback Turtle:
•Leatherbacks dive deeper than any other species of sea turtle. The deepest recorded dive is 3/4 of a mile, slightly more than the deepest known dive of a sperm whale.
•Female sea turtles lay around 100 eggs in each nest. These eggs are not brittle like a chicken’s, but rather encased in a flexible, leathery shell.
•It is the only sea turtle with a soft shell. It has a leathery, oil-saturated carapace that is dark gray to black with white or pale spots.
•The widest ranging of sea turtles it inhabits nearly all the earth’s oceans and visits the shores of every continent except Antarctica.
•Feeds primarily on jellyfish.
•Nest at intervals of 2 to 3 years, though recent research has indicated they can nest every year.
•Nests between 6 to 9 times per season, with an average of 10 days between nesting.
•Does not necessarily return to a natal beach to nest, but does return to a range area.
•Is in extreme danger of extinction. Primary causes for this are commercial fishing, egg harvesting, coastal development and environmental degradation