Want to know more about Leatherbacks?

By April 22, 2008Sea Turtles

While online the other day, I came across this fascinating—albeit abit geeky—video on Leatherback turtle biology presented by Dr. Scott Eckert, Ph.D. a Scientist from Duke University interested in Marine Science & Conservation and an expert on sea turtles.  This video may be long, but its worth watching as it describes some of the amazing talents and adaptations that made the Pacific Leatherback the only sea turtle to survive the asteroid that killed of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

For instance, @ 51:55, Dr. Eckert begins to describe how Leatherbacks use their flippers in an entirely different way than other sea turtles, and how this allows Leatherbacks to make the transoceanic voyages across the entire Pacific Ocean from nesting beaches in Indonesia to feeding areas along the US West Coast.  Their unique way of swimming—as well as their body shape and other qualities—makes them incredibly efficient at swimming long distances.  In fact, satellite-tracking data suggests Leatherbacks travel an average of approximately 6,000-miles/year roaming around the oceans—that’s about 16.5 miles almost every single day of every year for decades on end.