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Leatherback turtle
Dermochelys - Blainville, 1816

Pronunciation: DERM-oh-KEE-liss
Etymology: 'skin-turtle', referring to the leathery skink that covers this species' carapace.

Taxonomic notes:

Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 1 out of 1 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at 250 cm
 Longest Australian species: leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at up to 250 cm
Number of Australian species: 1

leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Public domain image
leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) distribution range map Dermochelys coriacea
Leatherback turtle
Year described
(Vandelli 1761)
A very large turtle, dark brown or black above, usually uniform above, but sometimes with paler marbling on the back, or with longitudinal rows of small, fine dots and usually with pale white, pink or cream spots and blotches on the sides; throat and lower sides of neck white, pale cream or pink mothed and blotched with dark brown or black. Whitish or pinkish-white below. Hatchlings rich blue black trimmed with white, pale below. Hatchlings finely beaded in appearance as a result of the superficial osteoderm mosaic; adult shell covered by a thick, smooth, leathery skin, often pitted and pock marked in older specimens. A series of seven prominent longitudinal ridges above (including the outer lateral pair) and four ridges along the plastron. 3 metres.

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