The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea
) is unique among sea turtles because, unlike other sea turtles who have a carapace
of hard bony plates, the leatherback's carapace is flexible and rubbery in texture. The leatherback's carapace blends into its plastron
, making the turtle barrel-shaped.
The leatherback is the largest of all extant sea turtles, growing to lengths of up to 7ft. It has long front flippers that make it an excellent swimmer and distinct ridges that line its carapace and plastron. The leatherback maintains its core body temperature several degrees warmer than surrounding water, enabling it to inhabit wider regions than other sea turtles.
Warm oceans around the world. Open water, palaegic.