- Leathery Turtle
Body dark to black above and white underneath. Shell pointed at rear and covered by leathery skin. Seven longitudinal narrow ridges along shell. Front flippers very long. Young hatchlings blue-black with white edges. Up to 3 m long.
These turtles can dive to depths over 1000 m, weigh up to 900 kg, and are the world's most widespread species of reptile. Females nest only on tropical beaches, coming to shore to lay about 80 eggs in the sand while males remain at sea. They are specialist feeders, eating only jellyfish and other drifting gelatinous invertebrates, a diet that is thought to be one of the reasons for their long distance migration into Victorian waters away from their usually tropical breeding grounds.
Open oceans and coasts.
Worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. Mainly western and eastern Australia. Occasional visitor to Victorian coastal waters and Port Phillip.
Recorded in Australia
- CITES : Trade restrictions (Appendix I)
- DSE Advisory List : Critically Endangered
- EPBC Act 1999 : Endangered
- IUCN Red List : Critically Endangered