As you may know, our beautiful T&T is one of the world's most important nesting sites for the leatherback turtle, which is one of the largest of this ocean species. In fact these turtles come from as far away as Africa and Canada to lay their eggs on our beaches. But did you know where you can see them during the nesting season? Well, nesting populations can be found at Matura Bay, Fishing Pond, Grade Riviere and at Turtle Beach in Tobago. Although some leatherbacks have been known to weigh 2000 lbs and reach 10 feet in length – they more commonly average 800 - 1000 lbs and 5-7 feet long. They get their name “leatherback” because, unlike other sea turtles, they do not have a hard shell; instead, their shells are rubbery, flexible and marked by seven ridges which apparently allows them to withstand the pressure of diving up to 4,000 feet below the surface of the sea! How interesting... For more visuals about the leatherback, click on this link
Due to the size of these magnificent creatures, their only natural predators are sharks, killer whales and humans . Sadly, their greatest threat is getting caught in fishing nets – as they are air breathers, they drown when tangled in commercial nets. Other threats to their survival are the poaching of their eggs during nesting season, human consumption of turtle meat, ocean pollution, and the ingestion of plastic bags which they can mistake for jellyfish, their favourite food. While some beaches are patrolled during the nesting season to prevent hunting of the turtles and poaching of their eggs, many beaches remain un-patrolled and leaves the leatherback vulnerable.
Enjoy this video about the leatherback turtle.
T&T news blog
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