Researchers watch together a mrs leatherback tortoise returns come the sea after nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, likewise known together Parque Nacional Marino ras Baulas (Leatherback National marine Park).  Photo courtesy Dr. Vincent Saba.

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Nesting Leatherback  A nesting female leatherback sea turtle begins to destruction the hole the will hold her eggs.  Photo courtesy Dr. Vincent Saba.

 A nesting woman leatherback sea turtle lays her clutch of eggs.  Photo courtesy Dr. Vincent Saba.

 A woman leatherback sea tortoise returns to the sea ~ nesting.  Photo courtesy Dr. Vincent Saba.

 An adult masculine leatherback tortoise feeds ~ above a jellyfish in the northwest Atlantic Ocean.  Photo courtesy Dr. Vincent Saba.

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Leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacae) room the world"s largest, deepest-diving, and also most migratory sea turtles and also the third most plentiful turtle in Virginia"s waters. Adult leatherbacks can reach 4 to 8 feet in length and also weigh 500 come 2,000 pounds. Leatherbacks are called after their leathery shells, which comprise a mosaic of little bones spanned by firm, rubbery skin with seven longitudinal ridges or keels. 6 to ten leatherbacks strand in Chesapeake Bay each year; these space all adults; the average size of leatherbacks in Virginia"s waters is ~ 54 in (138 cm).


"Endangered"; Pacific populaces in crisis


Largest seaturtles (6+ feet long), weighing approximately 2,000 lbs

Sexual Maturity


Nesting Habitat

Tropical beaches, some nesting in Florida; open beach

Juvenile Habitat



Gelatinousspecies (jellyfish/squid)

Foraging Habitat

Coastal and ocean based

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