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Leatherback turtle

Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea.
Photograph by Dr Col Limpus.

Dermochelys coriacea

Identification: 

A very large turtle (shell up to 2.8 m).  The shell is streamlined and leathery with five ridges running along its length; said to look like an upturned dinghy.  Front flippers large and powerful.  Back grey to black, often with pale mottling.

Distribution: 

All tropical and temperate seas; a seasonal visitor to Queensland waters.  This species has declined substantially in the past two decades.

Habitat: 

Coastal waters and the open ocean.

Food: 

Jellyfish, colonial tunicates and other soft-bodied invertebrates.

Breeding: 

Nesting in Queensland sparse and infrequent, mainly at Wreck Rock Beaches and Rules Beach, south-east Queensland. 

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