Common name: Leatherback turtle
Scientific name: Dermochelys coriacea
Distribution: All oceans, sub-arctic to tropical waters
Nests on: Tropical beaches
Beach type: Wide beaches with steep slope, rock free deep water approach. In India, nests in the Andaman and Nicobar islands mainly. Main nesting sites are Galathea on the east coast and several beaches in the west coast of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Little Andaman Islands.
Weight (adult): 500 kg +
Carapace length: 140 – 170 cm
Carapace shape: Elongate and tapering with seven prominent dorsal ridges;
scutes always absent.
Colouration: Mostly black with white spotting;
pink or bluish pots on base of neck and flippers.
Costal scutes: Absent
Head shape: Triangular; two maxillary cusps (tooth-like notch on either side of upper jaw).
Prefrontal scales: None
Limbs: Forelimbs extremely long
Plastron: Relatively small and distensible with 5 longitudinal ridges.
Time of nesting: Night
Clutches per season: 4 – 6
Clutch size: 80 – 100
Egg size: ~ 5 cm in diameter
Re-nesting interval: 9 – 10 days
Re-migration interval: 2 – 3 years
Track: 150 – 200 cm wide, deep and broad, with symmetrical diagonal marks made by forelimbs, usually with a deep median groove from the long tail.