The Ancient Reptile
The leatherback turtle is one of the most amazing creatures that one would come across if visiting a marine aquarium. It is one of the most bulky animals and arguably one of the most beautiful too.
The leatherback turtle is also nicknamed as the lute turtle. It is the largest among all its brothers and sisters of the turtle species and the fourth largest reptile in the modern world, only behind ones from the family of crocodiles.
The feature that differentiates it from the rest of the sea turtles is the absence of a hard skeletal shell on the back.Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Leatherback Sea Turtle Facts
A leatherback turtle can weigh up to a whopping 1 ton and is often more than 2 meters in length. That just brings me to the thought that an average leatherback turtle is actually longer than the height of a man.
The leatherback sea turtles lived even before the dawn of dinosaurs, but their future is questionable because of the recent practices that mankind has adopted to (please folks, save animals for they help us complete the cycle of nature). They fall prey to the poaching and fishing activities and hence is one of the most endangered species on Earth.
The average life span of a leatherback sea turtle is around 45 years. The leatherback sea turtles are one of the best divers in the sea and can dive deeper than any other species under water. They can also withhold the breathing capability for about 35 minutes inside deep water.
These amazing turtles are mostly found in the warm waters of Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
They have also been spotted in parts of Canada and South Africa. One of the interesting facts about the leatherback sea turtle is that, they have backward pointing spines in its throat and mouth. So, the moment they swallow their food, they can simultaneously break it to pieces.
An Extraordinary Reptile in the Verge of Extinction
It is indeed a disheartening truth that these wonderful creatures are slowly diminishing in numbers as they fall prey to the cruel activities of the human race. Their survival is challenged at all stages of their growth and only one in 1000 can grow out to become an adult, while the rest fall prey to Darwin’s survival of fittest hypothesis.
Leatherback sea turtles are a heritage to the planet Earth and we must take steps to preserve this extremely rare class of reptiles. Let us pledge together to protect these animals and not hunt them down for personal greed, for let us not forget that what we do, comes back to us in some form or the other. If this article enkindled even the slightest of humanity within each one of the readers to save the endangered animals, then the article will have surely served its purpose.