Leatherback Turtle

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Leatherback Turtle

Also known as the lute turtle, the leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living turtles and is the second heaviest known reptile, with the first being the crocodile. Unlike other turtles, it lacks a bony shell and is instead protected by thick layers of skin and flesh.

Content List

1. Scientific & Common Names

2. Characteristics

a. Breeding

b. Behavior

3. History

4. Present Status

5. References

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Reptilia

Subclass - Elasmobranchii

Order - Testudines

Suborder - Cryptodira

Clade - Americhelydia

Family - Dermochelyidae

Genus – Dermochelys

Species – D. coriacea

Common Names – Leatherback, Lute Turtle, Leathery Turtle


Known to be quite docile, this gentle giant wouldn’t mind you coming over for a closer look! All Safari figures, this leatherback sea turtle included, are individually hand-painted and crafted with precision to assure they’re excellent for education, play, display, and more.


Adult male leatherbacks never leave the ocean, but females travel onto the beach to lay eggs. Pacific turtles migrate from nesting sites in Indonesia to California (6000 miles away) to eat jellyfish.


Leatherbacks feed almost exclusively on jellyfish. They live in the open ocean and migrate thousands of miles to find food sources.


Because of their enormous size, leatherback sea turtles have exceedingly few natural predators when they mature, and are mostly vulnerable during the early stages of their lives. However, they are ultimately considered vulnerable due to human activities, the most detrimental of which is pollution. We’d love for you to take home this beautiful creature, but before you do make sure you have lots of room – they’re huge!

Present status

Plastic bags are particularly harmful to Leatherbacks, as they can mistake them for the jellyfish they eat and suffocate. They are also caught accidentally in fishing nets, and are listed as Vulnerable by the Inernational Union for Conservation of Nature.