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Leatherback Seaturtle: Dermochelyidae

Habitat

The leatherback seaturtle is found over more of the world than perhaps any other species of reptile. It can live quite well in the warm ocean waters of the tropics and in cooler ocean waters as far north of the equator as Alaska and Iceland and as far south as New Zealand and the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. It rarely comes into shallow, shoreline waters, staying instead in deeper water for most of its life.

DIET

The diet of the leatherback seaturtle is mostly jellyfish. It also eats many other ocean-living animals, including snails, octopuses, squids, crabs, small fishes, and hydrozoans (hy-druh-ZOH-uhns). Hydrozoans and jellyfish are both sea-dwelling animals without a backbone that have tentacles (TEN-tih-kuhls), or long, thin body parts used for feeling or for holding on to things. These two types of animals look somewhat alike. Seaturtles sometimes think that floating balloons and plastic bags look much like these creatures too, and they eat them by mistake. This can kill the turtle. The turtles also eat plants, such as sea grasses and kelp, which is a type of seaweed.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesLeatherback Seaturtle: Dermochelyidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Saving Leatherbacks, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, LEATHERBACK SEATURTLES AND PEOPLE